08 March, 2021

A Pandit Had A Dream...

Amar Chitra Katha, part of our childhoods, originated in Bangalore, in Kannada

Nilotpal Baruah
A Pandit Had A Dream...

It all began, once upon a time, in Bangalore.... Like the mysteries hidden in the womb of many a mythological tale dramatised by the Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), there are things the reader does not know about the genesis of this popular comic series. The oft-told story of how it was founded begins with ‘Uncle Pai’, or Anant Pai—whose recent death generated a spate of stories about the ACK phenomenon—in Mumbai in 1967. But it was in fact the restlessness and passion of a Bangalore book salesman called G.K. Ananthram that led to the first Amar Chitra Katha comics being produced in 1965—in Kannada, not English.

Ananthram, who then worked at the Bangalore office of the India Book House (IBH), had tired of selling imported English books, including Agatha Christie and ‘Wild West’ writers like Louis...

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