New Delhi: On the occasion of Dr B R Ambedkar’s 128th birth anniversary on April 14, 2019, Campfire Graphic Novels organized a book discussion at the Oxford Bookstore. The focus of the discussion was Campfire’s recent graphic novel biography Ambedkar: India’s Crusader for Human Rights. The discussion was moderated by Sahadi Sharma, and speaking at the panel were Sachin Nagar, artist, and illustrator of the title; Neelam Bhatt, who had translated the title in Hindi; Sourav Dutta, editor of the title; and Himanshu Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Hansraj College and reviewer of the title. Author Kieron Moore, who is based in Manchester, also sent across his message through video.
The discussion comprised various aspects of both Dr. Ambedkar and his life and Campfire’s graphic novel biography. Among the topics discussed were the relevance of someone like Ambedkar in this day and age, the challenges faced while writing a graphic novel on the life of Ambedkar, and what can be learned from reading the biography of a towering personality like him.
After the event, artist Sachin Nagar said, “This event was a refreshing break. The venue was just perfect and the crowd was eager and attentive. I was happy to be able to relive the moments of working on this book, and the inspiration I gained from Ambedkar himself. It was also great to hear the other panelists’ views on this book and on Ambedkar’s relevance for the present and future generations.”
Himanshu Kumar, Assistant Professor – Department of English, Hansraj College said, “B.R. Ambedkar is not only a national icon but a global icon of the socially deprived. I’m glad that Campfire organized a book discussion on Ambedkar to commemorate his 128th birth anniversary. The publication of the graphic novel, Ambedkar: India’s Crusader for Human Rights has helped create awareness about Ambedkar’s contribution in the shaping of modern India, particularly among the youth. The book touches upon all the important phases and incidents in the life of the great historical figure which is quite remarkable. The illustrations work in sync with the content with the kind of honesty it truly deserves. I’m sure that the book will enlighten and inspire a lot of minds in the coming years.
Girija Jhunjhunwala, Director, Campfire Graphic Novels, said, “This book is a tribute to the great man who bound the nation in one fabric through his vision of a better and stronger India. The graphic novels we make are of global appeal which is widely read across global markets and telling the life of someone like Ambedkar is a matter of great pride for us.”
Campfire believes that graphic novels are an innovative way of storytelling, especially for children as they are less daunting than a text-heavy book. The reading experience is more immersive and the narrative can be remembered more easily.