Amar Chitra Katha
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Anant Pai popularly known as Uncle Pai, was an
Indian educationalist and creator of Indian comics such as Amar Chitra
Katha and Tinkle
Uncle Pai revolutionized the reading habits of a
whole generation in the eighties. His Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle had such a
great fan following that children were simply hooked on them. He breathed life
into our heritage, our culture and educated convent students on Indian culture.
Pai was born in Karkala, Karnataka to Gowda
Saraswath Brahmins ( GSB ) Venkataraya and Susheela Pai. At the age of two, he
lost his parents.
He moved to Mumbai at the age of 12 and studied at the Orient School, Mahim. His
first love was journalism.
He was not interested in pursuing engineering. But his elder brother forced him
to do it anyway. That is how he passed out from the University of Bombay's
Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT).
But the day he graduated, he joined a magazine called Maanav in the 60s. This
was before his marriage. later he married Lalitha Pai.
Later, he joined The Times Of India (TOI) where he was in-charge of the comics
section," recalled his nephew Prakash Pai.
was extremely concerned about the fact that Indians seemed to know very little
about their tradition, culture, heritage or mythology and were wooed by British
and American comics.
"When we met him on one Sunday morning, he simply asked us a few questions about
Indian mythology. We simply had no answers to his questions, though we knew
everything about Archie comics.
That was when he told us that he would start a movement to enable us to know
about our own heritage," said Prakash.
Prakash added that he gave up his job at TOI and set up Amar Chitra Katha and
was supported by G L Mirchandani of India Book House. By the late 1970s and
early 1980s, Amar Chitra Katha sold 18 lakh copies per issue.
He also started Tinkle comics, and worked with well-reputed illustrators like
After that, he went on to start the Partha Institute for Personality Development
aiming to mould characters of youngsters in the age group of 10-15. He also
started a magazine called Partha for the same purpose.
Ramu and Shamu, Kapish, Little Raji, Rekha, Fact
Fantasy, Funland and Funtime are some of the comic strips created by Pai, most
of which continue to appear in newspapers and magazines. He has written and
produced two video films, Ekam Sat (the Vedic Concept of God) and The Secret of
Success, in English and Hindi.
Pai's other works include a number of books on personality development for
children and teenagers, ("How To Develop Self-confidence", "How to Achieve
Success", "How To Develop A Super Memory", UBS Publishers) and a series of audio
book versions of Amar Chitra Katha stories, "Storytime with Uncle Pai"
(Universal Music India, Dec 2001), where he plays the role of
In 1969, Anant Pai founded Rang Rekha Features,
India's first comic and cartoon syndicate, and started the children's magazine
Tinkle in 1980. His involvement with the above, and the rapport he shared with
his readers earned him the title "Uncle Pai".
He died at the age of 81. Anant Pai and his wife Lalitha Pai had no
Amar Chitra Katha
Amar Chitra Katha is one of India's largest
selling comic book series, with more than 90 million copies sold in 20 Indian
languages. Founded in 1967, the imprint has more than 400 titles that retell
stories from the great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in
a comic book format. It was created by Anant Pai, and published by India Book
House. In 2007, the imprint and all its titles were acquired by a new venture
called ACK Media. On September 17, 2008, a new website by ACK-media was
The comic series was started by Anant Pai in an
attempt to teach Indian children about their cultural heritage. He was shocked
that Indian students could answer questions on Greek and Roman mythology, but
were ignorant of their own history, mythology and folklore.
Lifetime Achievement Award - at the First Indian Comic Convention, New Delhi
(19 Feb 2011 - just 6 days before his death) was given to him by Pran, Creator
of Chacha Chaudhury
Karpoorchand Puraskar of Uttar Pradesh Bal Kalyan Sansthan (1994)
Yudhvir Memorial Award in Hyderabad (1996)
Maharashtra Rajya Hindi Sahitya Academy Award (1996)
Dr. T. M. A. Pai Memorial Award in Manipal (1997)
University of Bombay Department of Chemical Technology's Distinguished
Alumnus Award (1999)
Millennium Konkani Sammelan Award, Illinois, U.S.A (2000)
Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation's Award (2001)
Priyadarshni Academy Award (2002)
Vishwa Saraswat Sammaan (2003)
( Reference: NDTV and Wikkipedia )