Dr. Aryak Guha, Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, traced Indian past in comics that carried historic characters and stories invoking a Nehruvian vision.
Presenting a paper at University of Hyderabad recently, he described the role of famous comic book series Amar Chitra Katha played in the construction of childhood post independence.
A punch line from the comic series “the root to your roots” appeared to have been the foundation of Dr. Guha’s doctoral dissertation “‘Past Perfect: Representing the Indian Past in Comics” that he presented at the UoH.
Dr. Guha identified Amar Chitra Katha creator Anant Pai as a pioneer in Indian comics who played a vital role in maintaining the credibility of the series. He also recalled buying an issue of Amar Chitra Katha for just six rupees in 1990 before its end in the following year.
Centre for Women’s Studies (UoH) head Dr. Deepa Srinivas chaired the event and revealed some of her own experiences while interacting with the speaker and audience at the Centre for Comparative Literature in the School of Humanities.
The discussion deemed artistic freedom as being context specific and something that changes accordingly and ended with a unanimous conclusion that more research should be done on similar topics.