Tribute to Siachen heroes
Reviewd by Geetu Vaid

Siachen: The Cold War
By Rishi Kumar Aan Comics.
Pages 48. Rs 150

Battlefield Siachen
By Rishi Kumar Aan Comics.
Pages 56. Rs 150

though not a completely untested terrain, war comics is a largely unexplored genre in the Indian context, thus making the two recent titles Siachen: The Cold War and Battlefield Siachen released by Aan Comics and created by Rishi Kumar worth taking a note, especially in the pre-Republic Day patriotic ambience. The Indian setting of the storyline gives a different perspective of military operations to a generation fed on the sound and fury of action-packed video games like "Call of Duty". Dedicated to the valour and grit of our soldiers, these chronicle the incidents plucked from the annals of Army history books in comic book format. The inspiration is Siachen — the world’s highest battlefield — where the conflict between the Indian and Pakistan armies has been raging for over 30 years.

The adventures of real-life heroes stationed on heights of over 20,000 ft, who brave snowstorms and temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius have been portrayed effectively in these comics. According to the creator Rishi Kumar, these are meant to acquaint the readers with the Siachen issue and with the extreme sacrifices that our soldiers have made to safeguard the Indian territory.

Siachen: The Cold War presents the genesis of the conflict in the cold desert that has claimed so many lives over the years, and the action-filled Battlefield Siachen brings to life the intense fighting that took place on the glacier during different operations like Operation Rajeev, Capture of Quaid post and the battle of Bilafond la. Illustrations are an important component of any comic and these two books score a point on this front. The creators have taken pains to maintain authenticity in depicting the battle gear and weapons used, besides capturing the mood of battle on snow-clad heights. The narrative, however, plays heavily on the stereotypical portrayal of Indian and Pakistan army soldiers, with the latter shown in poor light. Kumar, however, has taken care to maintain the authenticity of the historical context by thoroughly researching the facts from different sources. Both the comics are also available on flipkart.