An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Chandamama: the magazine that nurtured India's Young Minds turns 60

There are a few things that we all have grown up with. Amar Chitra Katha – the comic books that illustrated the Indian History – and Chandamama – which had so many tales including Vikram aur Vetal. So many kids in India grew up on this simple but well meaning staple that the hand in nation building of the creators of these two series in very big! Not many realize it but it does have a big hand.

India was just a month away from attaining freedom from the British. It was then that two men, who had participated in the freedom struggle, decided to prepare the young generation for an India that would soon be free.

They were the legendary filmmakers B. Nagi Reddi and his friend Chakrapani. Nagi Reddi became the publisher of a magazine called Chandamama that was to be edited by his dear friend, Chakrapani.

“If you look at the first edition that came out in July 1947, you will see that their intention was to familiarise the post-Independence generation with Indian tradition, folklore, mythology and history in the form of stories,” remembers B. Viswanatha Reddi, Nagi Reddi’s son and the current editor and publisher of Chandamama. He was just three years old when the first copy came out.

Viswanatha Reddi was made the publisher of Chandamama in 1965 by his father. And, from 1975 onwards, for the last three decades, he has also been the editor.

The first Chandamama cover page, 1947

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