22/06/2024

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Amar Chitra Katha Books – A World of Literary Fascination

Amar Chitra Katha Books – A World of Literary Fascination

India is a land of fascinating tales of Gods. The intriguing stories often perpetuate with a narration of the mythological events that culminate with the victory of the virtuous over the evil, followed by the celebration of the victory. These stories are embedded deep in the history of the country and legends have it, that the Indian tales have been carried on through generations in an innately traditional manner.

The inception of Amar Chitra Katha:
The joint family system was a boon to young children, especially those with grandparents as they often got to hear mesmerizing tales from the older generation. As the families started getting smaller and the nuclear family system got bigger, there was a need to keep the tradition of story narration alive and this was achieved by comics that narrated enticing stories of the great Indian gods, demigods and the rich folklore. Amar Chithra Katha (ACK) thus stemmed from the old tradition of story narration. It was a welcome change to the nuclear families where children were deprived of the basic comforts of listening to time-honored tales.

Early days of the Comics:
The comic series was started by Mr. Anant Pai with the main focus of teaching the younger generation about the innate Indian culture, its varied heritage and rich mythology. A quiz competition on Doordarshan in the 1960’s was the motivational force behind the inception of the comic series. The main reason was that most Indian students at that time, could answer questions on Greek and Roman Mythology, but knew very less about our very own rich Indian history. Founded in 1967, the comic series played a pivotal role during the formative years of generations of Indians. The original printings were partly in color in order to manage costs and the panels were printed using yellow, blue and green. It is interesting to note that the Indian tales span the Indian history, folktales, legends and the intriguing Indian mythology.

The popularity of ACK:
Ever since it was first printed, the comic series gained immense popularity. The number of copies began increasing and today, ACK has an outstanding circulation of more than 400 comics in above 20 languages. It also has a whopping sale of 90+ million copies till date and the illustrated classic formats have contributed to its rising popularity. Amar Chitra Katha books and magazines are distributed nation wide across all major book retailers including small and lesser known bookstores. It is indeed a laudable feat to have about 1.5 million copies sold annually.

In the years to come, the comic series will witness a positive resurgence as it will be presented in animated television series. We as Indians ought to know the factors leading to the immense popularity of the series. The tales are based on religious parables and biographies of historical figures. This is the perfect way to know about the great and the lesser-known stories of India. The fact that they are written and presented in an instructive manner makes it all the more appealing. Although it is focused primarily for young readers, adults find the theme as fascinating and often find it to be an excellent leisure-time read.