New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) From Mahatma Gandhi’s friend Hermann Kallenbach to pharma giant Cipla chairman Yusuf Hamied’s mother Luba Derczanska, a new comics book gives readers a peek into the life of six Lithuanian personalities and how their travel to India led to the first recorded connection between the two countries.
“First Lithuanian Travelers in India”, published by the Lithuanian Embassy in New Delhi, is based on two historical books — “India & Lithuania: A Personal Bond” and “From Lithuania to Santiniketan: Schlomith Flaum & Rabindranath Tagore”.
“The idea for this comic book was coined by the Lithuanian Embassy and the previous ambassador Laimonas and his wife Alina… The biggest enjoyment for me was the variety of the characters, their backgrounds and personalities – I tried to depict this variety with slightly different visual and storytelling styles,” Migle Anusauskaite, the comics artist for the book, told PTI.
Undeterred by danger and storm, Lithuanian men and women ventured to India by sailboat, train, motorbike — always driven by great ideas and noble aspirations.
It include little-known stories of Lithuanians travelling to India, including that of Jesuit priest Andrius Rudamania, the very first Lithuanian to visit India in the early 17th century; educator Schlomith Flaum, who lived and taught in Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan for two years; and anthropologist Antanas Poska, who undertook a journey to India on a motor bike all the way from Vilnius in 1929.
“I think the main aim of the project was to show connections – of people, of cultures, of ideas. From the reactions I’ve seen of the Lithuanian public, people were really amazed, if not proud, of those travelers,” said Anusauskaite.
According to the publishers, the book besides reminding readers of how global and interconnected Lithuania and India had been over the centuries, would also serve as a proof that true friendship and creative ideas can bring faraway countries together.
“When both Lithuania and India were colonized, it’s the people who maintained the relationship between our countries. The pull of the Indian civilization in Lithuania was always very strong. Indian philosophy, Gandhian ideas had a great influence on the Lithuanian National revival,” said Lithuanian Ambassador to India Diana Mickeviciene — also the author of research for one of the characters of the book. PTI MG RB RB
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Source: The Print