In the recent political climate everyone wants a bit of Bhagat Singh. It is a pity that not many are eager to find out what he stood for and believed in beyond the fight for independence of India.
The home page of the Bhagat Singh video
Epified, a channel of Mumbai-based digital entertainment company, Culture Machine, has come in to bridge the gap. Earlier this month, they created videos with a portion of Singh’s essay, Why I Am An Atheist in Hindi and English in a format they call motion comics and it has garnered over 10,000 views.
A still from Mahabharata
In the video, like in the essay, he rationally explains why he does not believe in god. It talks about the violent histories of all religion and then moves on to his view that all traditions must be put through questioning and be challenged.
An still fromthe Bhagat Singh video
The comments section shows that some were surprised and some happy that atheism itself will be brought back in discussion with this video in times of religious animosity.
Vijayendra Mohanty, head of Epified, says that they had selected parts of the essay that seemed to fit the current context perfectly. “In Epified, we create videos on Indian history, mythology and culture. Most of our initial videos were created with whiteboard animation but now we are trying out more colourful animations. The Bhagat Singh video is the first of the kind,” he adds. The other popular creation of the channel is the Mahabharata, which is a 46-episode series.
The attempt to move to more colourful format is also accompanied by the idea of exploring Indian art for the videos. The channel’s design head, Roshnee Desai informs that in the Bhagat Singh video they explored the Indian graphic novel tradition. “In the subsequent videos we are going to use traditional art like Tanjore paintings that will be done by artist Pradeep Yadav,” she says. The next video will be on the controversial freedom fighter, Veer Savarkar.
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