If you are in the market looking for comic books, here are some recommendations.

Ambarish Diwanji in DNA tells us why:

To put it bluntly, ACK should rank among the most politically incorrect comic books available today.

ACK comic books are casteist, racist, and not very subtly propagate Hindu superiority over other religions (particularly Islam) and Brahmin superiority over other castes.

Then there is Nandini Chandra. 12 years of research for her M.Phil dissertation, she writes The Classic Popular.

The book also throws light on the anti-Muslim, anti-Communist and pro-Brahministic ideologies that were apparently followed by the series along with the anti-dalit and anti-feminist ideologies. The propagation of Vaishnavism as an overarching philosophy which, was capable to absorb all the hostility unto itself and, the portrayal of Shaivism in an antagonistic light is also discussed in an interesting way given Anant Pai’s (the founder of ACK series) inalienable connection with the Vaishnav philosophy.

And like Bollywood, Chandra has a thing about the portrayal of women:

In academic Nandini Chandra’s book ‘The Classic Popular: Amar Chitra Katha, 1967-2007 (Yoda Press), she illuminates the reason for the fall of ACK in the post-liberalism 1990s, with the figure of the Muslim always a monstrous traitor as compared to the god-fearing, moralistic upright Hindu.

Women are relegated to the margins of the narrative, either to a singing siren who is a moll to the lusty villain or the dutiful wife/girlfriend to the hero who waits patiently for him to finish saving the world and then glance at her. Lower caste heroes and saints are pushed to the margins by Brahmin characters.

Do people remember Sir Richard Burton’s famous response? Just do thenga these intellectuals listed above. Go ahead and enjoy Uncle Pai’s creations And these are comics, not graphic novels, not political or religious statements.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t read Amar Chitra Katha

  1. what nonsense, people like you don’t have anything else to do, rather than criticize others. Foolish people spending 12 precious years of life in nonsense things. better would be if the person would have studied nuclear science , she would be of some help in fukushima nuclear plant. Never late , Nandini Chandra can still goto fukushima to help people in keeping the situation and die there. No one is interested in such spams on wordpress. close this blog and help in reducing spam on net.

    1. No research is a waste of time. her 12 years of research no doubt brings forth latent fissures that we as children did not detect. But political correctness is in itself an inherently flawed concept. The portrayal of Mohammad Ghori or Ghazni is a product of exploits and told from the side of the victims. It is only fair that the comic books reflect public perception at large.
      It is however absurd to ask people not to read Amar Chitra Katha for this reason. A vast volume of heritage is conveyed by these comics.
      Portrayal of women is becoming far too cliche a topic in all forums of expression for anyone to have a definite opinion about it.

  2. Nandhini Chandra could have researched on positive things in life. Rather she has chosen to feed and live on so called “negative” aspects of things, be they right or wrong. Her ideas are unhealthy and would not do anything good to the society.

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