Editor apologizes for depicting Manipuri warrior as tribal freedom fighter in Amar Chitra Katha

Within the framework of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, the comic strip “Amar Chitra Katha” in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture published a collection entitled “Tribal leaders of the struggle for freedom”, which also included the story of Pauna Brajwasi, a Manipuri general of the British Raj. Student organizations in Manipur opposed this saying that the Brajwasis were neither tribals nor involved in the freedom struggle.

Cover of Tribal Leaders Collection of Freedom Struggle of Amar Chitra Katha (Photo: pib.gov.in)

New Delhi: The ‘Tribal Leaders of the Freedom Struggle’ collection was released in the ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ comic strip as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, which also featured General Manipuri Pauna Brajwasi.

After that, student organizations in the capital of Manipur, Imphal – All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Manipuri Students Federation (MSF), Kangleipak​​Students Association (KSA) and Students Union of Kangleipak​​(SUK ) objected to Brajwasi’s inclusion in the edit. This comic has been banned.

The organizations protested, saying the Pauna Brajwasis were not tribes and did not participate in the freedom struggle.

According to the Indian Express, on Sunday August 14, two days after the ban, Reena Puri, editor of Amar Chitra Katha, apologized for it.

Amar Chitra Katha in conjunction with the Union Ministry of Culture has developed a version of the comics.

It should be noted that the Brajwasis were military officers in the Manipuri Kingdom of Kangleipak ​​and fought against the British in the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891. The war took place when the British attempted to control the rule of Manipur, they placed their own ruler on the king’s throne, which caused a rebellion.

It is believed that Brajwasi received an offer of work for the British and when he refused it he was killed.

S. Bidyanand, head of the Joint Student Coordination Committee, told The Indian Express: “The War of 1891 had nothing to do with the Indian freedom struggle. The Manipuri army was defending its empire. So how can it be included in this book called Amar Chitra Katha? Also, the Pauna Brajwasis are not Adivasis, so how can the government include their history in the book on tribal freedom fighters? It is highly reprehensible.

Apologizing, Amar Chitra Katha Editor-in-Chief Puri said, “Amar Chitra Katha regrets using the story of Manipuri warrior Pauna Brajwasi in the ‘Tribal Leaders of Freedom Struggle’ collection, published in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture under the direction of “Azadi”. Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Is. His name was inadvertently added to the list of tribal warriors. We have removed this story from the collection and apologize for any pain caused to the Manipuri people.

Meanwhile, sources at the Ministry of Culture said: “Mistakes can happen.”

A source at the ministry said: “We are reviewing the names of hundreds of freedom fighters and screening names is a lengthy process. We try to represent every state. We had sent a list of unsung heroes to Amar Chitra Katha and they shortlisted the names based on their research. He had already cut 4-5 names from the tribal freedom fighter book knowing that the proposed names are not tribal. It is therefore possible that there was an error.

Homen Thangjam, a lecturer at the University of Manipuri, said: “The Brajwasi are prominent figures in Manipur. His story is not only for the benefit of the state. It is a deliberate act of the Center to seize his name. Although this is not the first case of its kind, the government should have kept the exact history in mind. He was neither a tribal nor was the war related to the freedom movement.

He said the Center does not allow the Manipuris to retain their unique collective memories.

Categories: northeast, india, special

Tagged as: Amar Chitra Katha, AMSU, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Kangleipak, KSA, Manipur, Manipuri people, MSF, News, North East, Paonam Brajabasi, Reena Puri, SUK, The Wire Hindi, Tribal Leaders of the Freedom Struggle, tribal warriors, Union Ministry of Culture