Cartoonist Narayan Debnath died at a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday morning. He was 98.
Debnath was awarded India's fourth-highest civilian award Padma Shri in 2021. A West Bengal minister last week handed over the award to him while he was undergoing treatment. Earlier, he was awarded Bangabibhsuan in 2013 and the Sahitya Academy Award.
Debnath immortalised comic characters such as Handa Bhonda, Batul the Great, and Nonte Fonte.
"He was admitted in the hospital on December 24 with kidney and lung problems," said Tapas Debnath, Narayan Debnath's son. Narayan Debnath is survived by two sons and a daughter.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said his passing has created an irreparable void in the world of cartoons. "I am deeply saddened by the demise of noted cartoonist Narayan Debnath," Banerjee said in a statement.
Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, said Narayan Debnath's legacy will always be cherished. "Legendary cartoonist Narayan Debnath; creator of immortal fictional characters like 'Batul the Great', 'Handa Bhonda' & 'Nante Fante' has passed away. His legacy will always be cherished by children and grown ups alike. Condolences to family and countless admirers. Om Shanti," he tweeted.