Art has a transformative power, and visual images in the media often help transform societies through a gradual process of consciousness raising (Rafael 2000). Among the various forms of visual images, cartoons play a significant role to convey messages in subtle ways (Carroll, Young and Guertin 1992). With the humor (sometimes dark) often associated with them, cartoons titillate viewers’ imagination and provide them food for thought on various political and socio-cultural issues. Because cartoons often mirror ideas and trends in contemporary society in a witty manner, they are increasingly deployed in discourses that deal with social awareness campaigns. For the promotion of social awareness, government initiative-based cartoons in the past tended to be published through printed and online dailies. More recently, public awareness cartoons (sometimes satirical) designed and developed by contemporary artists are also finding a fast-growing niche in new media platforms such as social networking sites. Because of the popularity of this dynamic genre, research on visual image tools such as cartoons have attracted considerable attention among scholars working within the framework of multimodality (e.g. Kress & van Leeuwen 1996). In this talk, Dr. Anindita Sahoo will focus on the multimodal discourse analysis of public awareness cartoons within the Indian context from the early 1940’s to the present time. Socio-cultural issues of India over the past 70 years will be discussed through the tools of visual images, with special attention to awareness campaign cartoons through Indian Government initiatives as well as through the designs of creative netizens in the new media. The data sources include cartoons from the repository of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, as well as R. K. Laxman’s cartoons from his early career days to the bilingual and multilingual quirky cartoons found in the new media.