Meet The Brave One

Bahadur (The Brave One) is the first Indian comic book Super Hero created by Aabid Surti in the year 1976. Incidentally Bahadur appeared on the scene when dacoit menace was at its worst in north India. So the focus of most of the earlier stories is on this problem. Bahadur himself was the son of a ferocious bandit called Bhairav Singh who died in an encounter with a police officer called Vishal. Our Bahadur, then a young boy, was groomed by his widowed mother, who kept on poisoning his mind to take revenge- kill Vishal. When Bahadur became mature, patiently Vishal made him realize that a cold blooded murderer, ruthless brute his father was. Soon Bahadur set up CSF (Citizens Security Force) to defend his village and also help the men in uniform to track down criminals hiding in Chambal ravines. Though Bahadur dealt sternly with outlaws, he had a soft corner for those who wanted to come back to society and live peacefully as proud citizens of the soil.

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Why we desperately need Bahadur back.....

Celebrating someone's 38th birth anniversary is not common practice, especially if that someone no longer exists. But there's no reason why we shouldn't raise our glasses of thandai and wish Bahadur Singh, known to a certain vintage of Indians simply as Bahadur, a happy birth-month. Created by artist-writer Aabid Surti in December 1976, Bahadur was a curious figure: a force of good working for the Establishment — the Naagrik Suraksha Dal (Citizens Security Force) — at a time when popular culture was celebrating the anti-hero taking on the Establishment. With his rifle and martial art chops, he fought the 'national menace' of his times: dacoits of the Chambal Valley (also the incubator of our most famous villain, Gabbar Singh). What marks Bahadur out from any other comic book hero is that he was Indian and not cute or funny. In his flaming saffron kurta (no colour politics, please), he was a young Ravi Shastri-meets-Arvind Kejriwal 1.0 who made honesty bundled with flying fists cool. He lived in with Bela, his girlfriend, who joined in the fights and wore a kurta-bell bottoms combo that remains fashion gold standard today. Dacoits have given way to terrorists. At 38, and with a readership hungry for a desi comic book hero without knowing it, Bahadur must be at the top of his game. Bring him back.


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