One of the most pulsating segments of literature, comics or graphic novels has been entertaining, enthusing and energizing readers through the ages, places, languages and creeds, with their peerless wealth of stories and vivacious illustrations. Where teenage readers are concerned, chitra kahanis bear an extraordinary assortment of ethics, conscience, triumph of good over evil, patriotic zeal, adventure spirit, fraternity and a relentless crusade against corruption and social evils. Comics have the best ability to enrich the inquisitive spirit of teenagers with innovation, positive imagination and creativity.
The task of acquainting young people with the glossary of our great personalities, important places, history and classical literature through the wizardry of comics was initially undertaken by a very enterprising man — the late Anant Pai. His comic series, Amar Chitra Katha, makes us aware of the diversity and glory of our country. Through the excellent illustrations in Amar Chitra Katha by artists like Pratap Malik and Ram Werker, we are able to understand the lives of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Rana Pratap Singh, Razia Sultan and Rani of Jhansi, Swami Vivekananda, Mirabai, St Thomas, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Dayanand Saraswati, the scientific genius of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the indigenous, industrial entrepreneurship of Jamshedji Tata and M. Vishweshwaraiah; the moralistic, literary classic Tales Of Panchatantra and Jataka Tales; the immortal literature by Shudraka and Kalidasa, and others. Amar Chitra Katha enabled young people to love and admire our country’s ancestral heritage and wisdom.
All of us are aware of apartheid — the deplorable discrimination of people on the basis of their skin colour by colonial rulers. This sin against our global fraternity was opposed by great men like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Dr Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King (Jr). However, a positive protest against apartheid was raised during the era of colonial aggression by the European nations on third world countries, by Englishman Leon (Lee) Falk. He created an African forest-dwelling, white-skinned crime fighter, clad in a tight-fitting combat suit and mask — The Phantom.