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Narayana Murthy to be comic book hero

By Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai
March 06, 2009 01:52 IST

N R Narayana Murthy has several firsts to his credit. It's time to add one more: that of a comic book hero.

Murthy's life story is to be the content of a new comic to be brought out by Amar Chitra Katha, the popular comic book series, making him the first living person to be featured in the Amar Chitra Katha series, which mostly focuses on popular Indian myths and legends.

ACK Media, the publisher, will follow this up with stories of famous personalities like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and former Indian President and Bharat Ratna award winner, APJ Abdul Kalam.

"We have never profiled a living person in our entire history of around 40 years, but now we are planning to profile some of the personalities who have brought glory to the country. Like the classics, their stories will be a great source of inspiration to the younger generation," Amar Chitra Katha Editor-Emeritus Anant Pai told Business Standard.

The publisher has confirmed that it has sought Murthy's permission to publish his story.

But that shouldn't be difficult as Murthy, himself a comic book fan, told Business Standard that "Amar Chitra Katha has brought so much joy to children and parents alike by bringing alive the epics and the biographies of heroes and legends of India to every drawing room. This is one investment that my wife and I did not grudge making for our children". 

Murthy, who founded Infosys Technologies in 1981, became a middle class hero for building the country's second largest IT firm (in terms of revenues), creating job opportunities and wealth for its over 100,000 employees.

Murthy, who is currently the chairman and chief mentor of Infosys, had also received numerous awards like the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri, apart from numerous business awards and the Légion d'honneur (France's highest civilian award).

On Tendulkar, ACK Media officials declined to comment, but admitted that they were seeking permission from a young cricketer to profile him.

Physicists Homi Bhabha (hailed as the father of India's atomic energy programme and Vikram Sarabhai (considered  the father of the Indian space programme) are among others on Amar Chitra Katha's list.

Amar Chitra Katha started publishing folk stories from the Panchatantra Tales (originally a canonical collection of Sanskrit and Buddhist animal fables) and was published by India Book House. ACK Media acquired it in 2007.

Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai