February 24, 2016

A look inside: Amar Bari, Tomar Bari – Naxalbari

by Shashi Prakash Vyas

Amar Bari, Tomar Bari Naxalbari is a comic. Comics are a childhood love, no debating that. Just when you read the word ‘comics’, the names of your favourites and their illustrations start to hover over your head.

Now pause and try to think why you remember each of those characters, and their stories, with such precision but not the history lesson you learned in 5th grade.

Abhinandan Sekhri, Editor-in-chief at Newslaundary.com explains this in the foreword of Amar Bari, Tomar Bari Naxalbari. He says, “Comics are a fantastic storytelling device. More effective than any other, save cinema”.

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The first time I picked up Amar Bari, Tomar Bari Naxalbari, I flipped through the pages and kept it aside. Not because I didn’t find it amusing but because my instant reaction was “it’s a comic, I’ll read it whenever”.

The next time I picked it up to read, I was hooked. Sumit crafts out the highlights of the Naxalbari Movement in such a playful manner along with his illustrations and the much-anticipated satire that the book doesn’t feel like a knowledge source. It’s a mix of his insights on his research and his interpretation on how things might have looked when it was happening.

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“I know the people I think of when I am writing. Someone who doesn’t give a shit about politics or social responsibility. Someone completely apathetic,” says Sumit in a candid chat with Sumit Ray of www.justcomix.com. Excerpts from the chat, at the end of the book, tell us how Sumit approached the different aspects of drawing this book from content to illustrations.

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Sumit has spanned the book in three chapters. His first chapter starts with an animal farm being curious about what is happening in the outside world. He creates an ambience with the characters, just like the times when your grandparents used to tell you folklores.

The first chapter covers the communist uprising in the country post Indo-Sino War, the division of communists, peasant revolt of 1967 led by communists and Charu Mazumdar’s role.

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The second and third chapter cover the communist liberation in Hyderabad, Radical Students Union, state of affairs in Telangana during emergency, transition of jungles of Dandakaranya, coal block, mines and ores allocation to various groups in the country and CRPF camps among others.

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The contents are research-based but the serious subject has been well-scripted with light humour. When Ray asks what would make him happier, people reading this for fun or if they learn and start a discussion, Sumit says “the humour will be the trap and starting a discussion will be the conclusion”.

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The book spans events of over half a century, covering all the highlights of the Communist uprising. It describes the high points with such ease and wit that you feel like going through the contents again.

Not being an avid reader I have already read the book thrice. If not for information, pick it up for the satire.

To follow more of Sumit’s work you can visit his blog. Or read another perspective on it on  Newslaundary.com.

The comic has previously featured at newslaundary.com. To follow more of Sumit’s work you can visit his blog.

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1 Comment

  1. Gaurav prashant vyas

    02.24.2016

    Reply

    this one is also impressive . the start of this article is awesome, really comics are childhood love no debate in that. Keep it up Shashi Vyas waiting for another good one

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