With the increasing violence and injustice against women, many outrages can be seen in the entire country. Protests, riots, rallies are just the outcome of the inbuilt anger. While every person has his/her way of protesting, Vaanarsena Studios Senapati Vivek Ram and his team planned to put out their feelings through the best known medium- illustrated comics!
Most of Vaanarsena’s work has been to educate the audience about our Indian stories. “There has been a lot of sugar coating and omissions over the years in the stories to show things in just black and white. This has also led to people forgetting about so called heroes and everything that they have done,” said Ram.
In the current environment of hate and violence, Ram’s team felt it was necessary to explain and bring to light some older and forgotten stories. The comic shows few scenes from our epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana, where the consent or respect of women didn’t matter. The comic says, “Will our stories be forgotten so that history repeats itself?” But that is the situation today. The stories are indeed forgotten.
In history, patriarchy has always been prevalent. In ancient stories, one can see women being addressed or showcased as commodities and passed around for needs of power and prestige is what Ram feels. Overtime, many speculations and stories got omitted due to the restrictions on content shown on television and in plays. This is largely the reason we don’t seem to move forward on these issues and even today women have to fight for basic rights of equality and respect.
History tends to repeat itself and what’s happening today has happened many time before in the earlier times. And if we forget our stories and choose not to learn from them, this will continue repeating. Ram usually does animation and illustrations, but for this topic, he thought of doing a comic which can be elaborated upon.”Nuances tend to get missed in an illustration, and this was a subject that still needed explaining,” added he.
“We focused purely on the war, and heroics and forgot that our stories were also trying to tell us a lot more about human behavior. The more stories we forget, the more we will stick to a conservative culture from the last 100 years, and forget the lessons from 3000 years ago,” Ram concluded.
Vaanarsena’s illustrations and animations have been telling stories of Indian culture. India as a country has so many stories which are relevant even in today’s era and hopefully will be in the coming future. We either learn or destroy ourselves in the process!