Crocodile in Water, Tiger on Land 1 Favorite 


Sep 13 2011


Crocodile in Water, Tiger on Land

Crocodile in Water, Tiger on Land is a series of black and white comic strip that takes a sharp sniper-shots at India’s myriad idiosyncrasies. There is a new strip available every Monday. Despite the fact that the characters in this strip have no name, you can immediately see mirrors of them in people you know. The creators of this web comic address our everyday concerns: poverty, traffic, religion, bureaucracy, party politics, popular culture, and societal evils like dowry. The jokes are mostly in-your-face and hilarious, mocking the hypocritical lives most people lead in India. 

Crocodile on water, tiger on land — jawle kumeer, dangaye baagh — is one of those peculiarly Bengali sayings, rooted in the geography of the land. As tourists within a certain spending bracket have been informed by agents of wildlife tourism, eco-tourism, and other exotic tourisms, the Sunderbans in West Bengal and Bangladesh boast mangroves, rippling silver streams, wild honey-bees, a gallery of fauna, restful cruises with singing boatmen, and the twin cherries on top: Royal Bengal tigers on land, and saltwater crocodiles in water. 

However, when rural folk hereabouts — who actually have to live with said tiger and crocodiles — use the term, they don’t index a lush, tropical vacation. They mean a situation so dire and so utterly without hope, that it is the equivalent of having a tiger stalking you on land, and a crocodile snapping its jaws in water, just waiting for you to jump into the river out of sheer tiger-terror.

A group of local graphic artists and political commentators have therefore chosen this idiom for their comic-commentary on Indian politics and populist trends. They summarise themselves as:

A non-profit equal opportunity collection of below-the-belt cheap shots in comic form. Look for updates every Monday morning, the best time of the week for insults.

Below are some examples of their work: 

On India's Republic Day and activist Irom Sharmila (Janauary 26, 2015) 

On Charlie Hebdo (January 12, 2015) 

On Prime Minister’s call for positivity in Indian Media (December 1, 2014) 

On Poverty, population control, and sterilization (November 17, 2014) 

On the dichotomy of Indian Goddesses and Indian women (September 29, 2014) 

On Rape (December 2, 2013) 

On party politics and coalition governments (August 5, 3013) 

On Narendra Modi (July 15, 2013) 

On development in Gujarat (September 19, 2011) 
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