Priya’s Shakti (2014) is more of an event than a comic book. Some has heralded it as the future of Indian comics, showcasing contemporary ills in Indian society with the mythological imagery of the Amar Chitra Katha comic series of 1970s and new technology like augmented reality.

Inspired by the tragic events of the gang rape and murder of a female student on a private bus in Delhi in December 2012, the people behind Priya’s Shakti wanted to tell a technicolour story that will spur people to action in protesting against the violence inflicted on women. Instead of a straight telling of the rape of a village girl, Priya’s Shakti shows how the Indian gods like Shiva and Parvati were so outraged by men’s inhumanity that a war of the gods ensued on Earth. Its devastation was averted only with by the grace of Priya, the rape victim who decided to spread a message of peace and hope rather than a message of revenge and violence.

Written by Ram Devineni and Vikas K. Menon and drawn by Dan Goldman, Priya’s Shakti is backed by a whole PR team of transmedia producers, impact strategists and advisors. One can read the comic at  http://www.priyashakti.com which includes information on outreach and workshops. The comic has been reviewed favourably in many media and the director/producer/co-writer Ram Devineni has appeared at many comic and literary festivals to promote the book.

Further Reading:

  • Lent, John. 2015. Asian Comics. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.
  • McLain, Karline. 2009. India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.