India completes 69 years of it's independence on 15th August this year. A lot has happened in these years, and a lot more could. Indianama is a documentation of events and stories, told and untold. Of folklores that shaped the country to it's present avatar. We invited 69 artists to come together and be a part of this journey.


"The year of independence, war and so much more."  ~  Aprajita Chowdhury

"Inauguration of the Republic of India (including the focus on the newly introduced stamps for the same)"  ~  Soniya Bhase

"Inspired by Italian neo-realistic cinema and after watching Bicycle Thieves (1948), Bimal Roy made Do Bigha Zameen (1953). It lay the foundation for the Indian New Wave, which began in the 1950s. Often referred to as the Golden age of Indian Cinema, the Indian New Wave was led by acclaimed filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, and others." ~  Divya Bhardwaj

"Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Constitution Framer of India, Buddhist Revivalist and Untouchable Leader, converts to Buddhism along with 3,85,000 followers to start the Neo-Buddhism movement in India.

This being the premise I would like to create the scene with a certain density of people, since this was a watershed moment for neo-liberalism in india I would like to illustrate it for Indianama."  ~  Yuvraj Jha

"The year 1959 saw the introduction of Television broadcast, or specifically Doordarshan, which changed the face of communication and entertainment in India. Through this artwork, I would love to illustrate the impact that this had on the people, and the way media was experienced in this country since then." ~ Prateek Vatash

"I would like to put together a comic panel on anecdotes about the Indo-China war. My father in law is a retired Major General of India and I've heard some pretty interesting insider stories from him." ~ Rituparna Sarkar

"26 January 1965 - Hindi becomes the official language of India." ~ Pawas Aakrsh

"In February 1968, the Beatles travelled to Rishikesh, in northern India, to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation (TM) training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi." ~ Namrata Kumar

"The Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was a treaty signed between India and the Soviet Union in August 1971 that specified mutual strategic cooperation. The final piece is going to be a mix of type and illustrations that will take to the past of handcrafted masterpieces." ~ Niteesh Yadav

"Smiling Buddha was the assigned code name of India's first successful nuclear bomb test on 18 May 1974." ~ Subahlakshmi Chandra

"First study of Homosexuality in India: 
Shakuntala Devi wrote "The World of Homosexuals", even though the book went unnoticed, it was the first study done on the subject in India by an indian, where she openly supported the decriminalisation of homosexuality." ~ Shreya Gulati

"Sanjay Gandhi was touted as the great dictator of India. A man of two sides, with people divided in opinion whether to love him or hate him. I want to portray that dilemma against a backdrop of the India that could be, had he survived the plane crash on June 23, 1980." ~  Kunel Gaur

"Sanjay Gandhi was touted as the great dictator of India. A man of two sides, with people divided in opinion whether to love him or hate him. I want to portray that dilemma against a backdrop of the India that could be, had he survived the plane crash on June 23, 1980." ~ Kunel Gaur

"Maruti 800 is launched : Driving the India story." ~ Rutuja Patil

"In 1986, India created the National Policy on Education. The government took a step in the right direction by launching a programme called Mahila Samakhya that focused on women empowerment. The programme's goal was to create a learning environment for women to realise their potential, learn to demand information and find the knowledge to take charge of their own lives." ~ Osheen Siva

"14 February – Union Carbide agrees to pay USD $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal Disaster.

The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world's worst industrial disaster.

It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its way into and around the shanty towns located near the plant.

Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. Others estimate that 8,000 died within two weeks, and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases.

The owner of the factory, UCIL, was majority owned by UCC, with Indian Government-controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1989, UCC paid $470m ($907m in 2014 dollars) to settle litigation stemming from the disaster." ~ Mayur Mengle

"Director, Screenwriter, Composer, Writer, Graphic Designer Satyajit Ray received the honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992. The legendary filmmaker left behind a legacy of filmmaking not just for India but for the world. My artwork is a tribute to his stories and the magic Ray brought into our lives." ~ Viplov Singh

A year woven through words of change. Right from the beginning of internet to the release of the longest running Bollywood film to the country's foray into World Trade Organisation. This artwork will be designed with all the powerful words that represented the year. ~ Anindita Das

"1998 was the year gaming consoles were introduced in India. With the Sega Genesis making it's entry into this subcontinent, years after the west. This marked the beginning of one of the most fastest growing gaming communities of the world.

My theme will be technological revolution the 1998 gave rise to; focused on video games. This would be set in an Indian household setting and would express youthfulness and the mood this new gadget had got to the household." ~ Jayesh Joshi

"A high-powered rocket is launched, adding India to the club of countries able to fire big satellites deep into space." ~ Avinash Jai Singh

"Launched on September 20, 2004 by ISRO, EDUSAT is the first Indian satellight built exclusively to serve the educational sector. It has revolutionised classroom teaching through IP based technology." ~ Rutuja Mali

Taj Mahal, one of the masterpieces of world's heritage, declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World initiative. Situated in the Indian city of Agra, it is the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. It was a moment of national pride when Taj Mahal was elected by more than 100 million votes to represent global heritage throughout history." ~ Neethi

"A hidden truth behind what was happening. How it was a great opportunity for Indian athletes to finally shine, and how was delhi cleaned up! The good things and the bad." ~ Smita Minda

"Launch of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) by ISRO. I think it was a quite a huge deal for India and deserves way more recognition." ~ Arushi Kathuria

"The darkest day in Indian history. - Mahatma Gandhi assassinated by Nathuram Godse."  Mohammad Azad

"I would like to depict the first Indian general election that took part in 1951. Jawaharlal Nehru became the democratically elected first prime minister of India." ~  Shirin Kekre

"19 May, 1954, the Govt. of India constituted a National Film Board, the 1st National Film Awards were established and in October that year then President Rajendra Prasad honoured the ceremony. The artwork would look at being a dramatic take on iconic moments on screen, film poster art and perhaps even play with the idea of censorship. ~  Sudeepti Tucker

"The year the biggest blockbuster of the decade, Mother India was released. I'd like to create an artwork taking the lead character as a metaphor for the role of women in Indian society and nationalism, both very different-relevant then and even today."  ~  Adrita Das

"Mughal-e-azam was released in 1960 after 15 years of work, a film that showed multiple facets of Indian culture, it’s history and complexes. A national allegory, Mughal-e-Azam depicted Hindu-Muslim love in ways that were never before seen.

A tolerance in religion was accompanied with class differences. The power and arrogance of Akbar is the power of a nation in front of which the private love of Anarkali is dwarfed. In it’s own way it depicts a nation in the 1960s ready to take flight, only the flight was delayed time indefinite.

The persianised dialogue makes the upper class Muslims seem distinct and unique, coexisting with this dialogue is a hindu devotional song by Anarkali. Wrapped up in multiple dialects, languages, voices and tenors is the culture of India. Myriad voices reflect myriad religions, ways of life and living conditions. Mughal-e-Azam though black and white, held in it’s sounds, stories and characters the colors of India — vibrant, effervescent and yet primal.

This is the theme I propose, Mughal-e-Azam in 1960s India in a flight that took it’s time." ~ Karan Vohra

"Depicting the launch of the first ISRO Rocket. The story is beautiful, the rocket was brought to the launching point on a cycle." ~ Ketki Jadhav

"In 1966, Sharmila Tagore became the first Indian actress to pose for popular magazine Filmfare's cover in a two piece bikini. Not only did the magazine go viral, but also went on to become a hot topic that was discussed in the Parliament regarding the morality and image of an Indian woman.

This work attempts to bring forth the similarities between a historical precedent with current internet culture viral scenarios. While the repetition of Tagore brings her closer home to an ordinary woman, the vigorous repetition of a mouse cursor draws attention to the bizarreness of clickbait tropes and the standardised formula for viral content." ~ Furqan Jawed

"1969 was the year ISRO was setup. It was also the year of religious and political issues in Gujrat, eventually leading to the most deadly communal riots since 1947. We moved forward and backwards all at the same time. I think it's interesting as it seems similar to the times we live in right now. India seems to move forward and still seems to be going backwards. This artwork would use space exploration as a theme to play with this whole forward-backward limbo that India seems to be stuck in." ~ Suren Makkar

"Indian Legislature recognizes the importance and beauty of its country's biodiversity with the Wildife Protection Act." ~ Rohan Joglekar

"Entwining the tale of the year that was, the good, India's first satellite Aryabhata going into the earth's orbit. Chasnala mine disaster took more than 700 lives and 37 years for an insensitive justice to be served.One death every three days, over the past five years in India’s mining sector increases our need to re-evaluate the safety of those toiling deep in the bowels of the earth. If only we could understand that all of us are a part of this universe and are all humans.

Humanity was somewhere lost between the tragedy of errors and the anarchism in the country. Political opponents were jailed, human rights extinguished and news censored. Was India Indira and Indira and India? There was a lot under the hood." ~ Sneha Shanker

"Freedom in all sort of art and expression and a comfort of struggling and making it through. Period where many opinions were expressed." ~ Sadhna Prasad

"1981 is the year that saw the launch of Bhaskara 2 — one of the two satellites that were placed in orbit by being launched from Kapustin Yar by Soviet Kosmos – 3M launch vehicles. The two Bhaskara satellites were a part of the satellite-for-Earth-Observations (SEO) program and their objectives were to conduct Earth observation experiments for applications related to hydrology, forestry, geology using a two-band TV camera system, and to conduct ocean-surface studies using a two-frequency satellite microwave radiometer (SAMIR) system.

My artwork, while acting as a tribute to this India’s feat, is inspired by the matchbox designs of the 1980s." ~ Shantanu Suman

"1984 must be one of the loudest years of independent India. I had just completed college from Punjab University but my final exams were postponed due to Operation Blue Star carried out at the Golden Temple in Amritsar by then prime minister Indira Gandhi, leading up to her assassination 3 months later and Hindu-Sikh riots right after. India was still coping with the two tragedies when a gas leak at a pesticide factory near Bhopal exposed 500,000 people to poisonous gas and killed thousands overnight. It is still considered the world's worst industrial disaster. With the passage of time, the screams only seem to go louder and I want to put that up on the map." ~ Rekha Bahl

"Did any of you ever think about what was happening in India during your birth year? Goa was declared an independent state in 1987. It's as old as me! It's going to be fun to express how Goa’s really a part of all of us."

(31" x 15" x 13" ~ Soft Aluminium and Polyester)

~ Sanket Avlani

"January 1990, an insurgency breaks out in Kashmir Valley. Throwing out hundreds of families from their homes followed by one of the deadliest massacre ever seen. Valley of blood will be a reality based fictional comic on those events." ~ Girik Jain

"The year Coca Cola re-entered the Indian market after a 17 years of absence. The Coca-Cola company walked out in 1977 after the elected government demanded  them to partner up with an Indian entity. In the early-1990s, when India began to open up its economy to foreign investments, Coke started plotting a strategy to re-enter the fast-growing market and partnered with Parle group." ~ Rohan Jha

"The clown opens up a joint. In 1996, McDonald's opened it's shop in India. The signature Big Mac beef burger was replaced on the menu by the Chicken Maharajah Mac to suit the indian market. The price, taste and value that McDonalds introduced became a hit." ~ Reshidev Rk

"Kargil conflict (Operation Vijay) which led to series of events in Kargil, Kashmir. Officially ending with complete eviction of intruders made Indian Army & Indian Air Force as proud as punch. It seems like a vivid year to be put on canvas for me." ~ Niharika Kapil

"Godhra Massacre : The starting point for the barbarism and massacre of Muslims that followed in India. Thousands of hindu pilgrims had gone from Gujarat to Ayodhya to take part in a religious ceremony at the disputed Babri Masjid.

On 25 February 2002, hindu pilgrims boarded the Sabarmati Express which was bound for Ahmedabad. On 27 February 2002, the train made its scheduled stop at Godhra Station. The train was attacked by a mob of around 2,000 people. After some stone-pelting, four coaches of the train were set alight, trapping many people inside. 59 people including 27 women and 10 children were burnt to death. Miscreants had kept the petrol-soaked rags ready for use. The sky was covered with smoke coming out from all the burning. This triggered deadly communal riots between Hindu and Muslim spreading across the state. The weeks of violence that followed left over 1000 people dead, most of them Muslim. Qutubuddin Ansari, a tailor, the face shown in centre with hands begged for mercy and eyes filled with tears pleading with security forces as an angry mob approached was photographed by a journalist during riots. He became the face and symbol of the carnage. Gujarat was burnt into the fire. Today, wounds are healed but the scars remain." ~ Umang Dehdia

"On the 12th October, 2005, the Indian Parliament commenced one of the most powerful tool for indian citizens, the Right to Information Act.The act aims “to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens”. This was the starting point of a revolution and complete transparency between the people of this nation and its government. The theme for my artwork would revolve around this transparency and the impact it's made. Using my illustration style I plan to unravel the threads of this transparency, which is intangible but holds together a rich history and the thin line between these two social bodies." ~ Karan Kumar

"The infamous serial blasts & massacre in Bombay , an ordeal which still feels like yesterday." ~ Mohna Singh

"India wins the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was the tenth Cricket World Cup. It was played in India, Sri Lanka, and (for the first time) Bangladesh. India won the tournament, defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final in Mumbai, thus becoming the first country to win the Cricket World Cup final on home soil. India's Yuvraj Singh was declared the man of the tournament.This was the first time in World Cup history that two Asian teams had appeared in the final. It was also the first time since the 1992 World Cup that the final match did not feature Australia." ~ Himani Batra

"The hopes of millions are riding on the BJP's prime ministerial candidate to make a dramatic turnover for the people of India..and the BJP does manage to secure a single party majority in the Lok Sabha, a feat unprecedented since the 1984 general elections. But is the PM a person without scars? And do certain events post election stand testimony to a historic allegiance of the PM to a right wing fanatic group that is bent on destabilizing the nation? And what does his silence say on those particular issues?

I would like to explore the concept of a deformed rebirth. A new being/entity being resurrected with the consciousness of the people which is like a scarred living breathing organism supporting its rise. But at the same time one can notice a that the entity is deformed by the winds of time which have blown away certain parts of it. Earth would be an element present below with clouds and winds present above. A mandala can also be added in order to connect the two elements from behind the entity." ~ Valiullah Hashmi

"15 Nov 1949 • Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was hanged. "I died the day I killed Gandhi" said Godse in his last speech. He was a strong follower of Gandhi but with a stronger clash of perspective. Through a bullet mark, you can witness the dichotomy from both sides of the glass, an assassin becoming a victim and vice-versa."  ~  Pranav Bhardwaj

"I would love to talk about the 1st National general election of a country which will go on to become the largest democracy in the world." ~  Arjun Arunkumar

"India on a cusp of change. Untouchability made an offence."  ~  Shubhangi Raheja

"One of the most Iconic Indian cars the "Ambassador" leaves its factory In Uttarpara near Calcutta after Its assembly. The busy atmosphere of the factory engulfs the cars, buildings and the people while they work. I plan on illustrating a scene from the manufacturing plant with a backdrop of victorian and indian architecture."  ~  Dhruv Chakkamadam

"1961 is the year that Goa became a part of India. For most of us Goa has been a right to passage, to being or at least feeling like an adult. A map of India where people all over are rejoicing the inclusion of Goa. Somewhere in Punjab a kirana store uncle has shut shop and packed his suitcases ready to visit Goa. College students take a bus from Bombay to Goa. Aunties buying knee length swimsuits in anticipation of Goa becoming there next holiday. A couple decides to finally get married now that they have a honey moon destination. For year 1961, the theme is independence of Goa." ~ Gargi Chandola

"There is something tragically romantic about the death of Guru Dutt. I want to capture it in an image." ~ Nasheet Shadani

"1967 was the birth year of Amar Chitra Katha, India's unique comic-book approach to recasting mythology for children and youth. In an attempt to simplify complex and obscure stories of the ancient past, It spawned off a different kind of cultural movement - it served as ready storyboards for mythological movies and TV serials; even fashion has adopted the inimitable style of certain in-house illustrators; the vibrant graphics created cultural stereotypes like race and gender biases; what docile middle-class Indians swear by even today has its own contribution to popular depiction of dominant classes and violence." ~ Hari Krishnan

"Operation Flood: I propose the theme of Operation Flood or as commonly referred to as the White Revolution that was launched by the Government of India in 1970, that resulted in making our country the largest milk producer in the world. The brainchild of Verghese Kurien of AMUL, it was the largest dairy development programme in the world which involved creating a national milk grid across the country. By linking rural supply to urban demand through co-operatives, it cut down the middlemen and ensured that the dairy farmers benefited. It is an important economic achievement in post-independent history and holds potential for illustration and style exploration." ~ Ameya Narvankar

"Project Tiger - launched by the Government of India in April 1973 as an effort to preserve and protect the royal animal, a few months after this majestic beast was declared the National Animal of India!
The Tiger as our National Animal symbolizes the power, strength, beauty, elegance, alertness, intelligence and endurance of the nation. And thus, it's symbolic and existential significance was realised in the year 1973. I would like to depict this through my art." ~ Ishaan Bharat

"The forceful Vasectomy for thousands of men - under the family planning initiative." ~ Aditi Sharma

"In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace." ~ Prasad Ramachandran

"By the end of the 70’s, Disco music all over the world was almost dead. But in India it was just starting to get popular around the early 80’s. The most renowned music producers of the disco movement in India were the well known Bappi Lahiri and Biddu (along with Nazia and Zohaib Hassan). Biddu known for his most famous non Bollywood Disco hit - Disco Deewane which became a worldwide hit in the early 80’s. In 1982 disco got most commercialised by the Bollywood movie 'Disco Dancer', the music of which was produced by Bappi Lahiri and another musical wonder movie ‘Star’, music produced by Biddu.

And then there was the song from the movie Khuddar - Disco 82, the name of the track inspired my Art work from the start. Being a music buff and having always associated music with memories, I decided to pick this year. I listened to most of these tracks when I was growing up and they are very nostalgic and close to my heart. And of course they still rock!" ~ Shweta Malhotra

"Can a person be a freedom fighter and also a terrorist? Can a person die but still be alive in multiple avatars? As conspiracy theories go Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose never died in the horrible plane crash in Japan in 1945 but died in Faizabad in 1985. He has also been called a nazi, an alien and a man who stood up for unqualified Swaraj (self governance). A man of many faces." ~ Sharon Borgoyary

"Vishwanathan Anand becomes the first grand master of India. More of a glorious triumph. Victorious Anand in a humorous setting, illustrated in my style." ~ Rishav Mohanty

"The year 1991, Indian economy suffered a triple crisis where the buying, selling and the production went for a complete toss.

Our ex prime minister, Manmohan Singh turned out to be the biggest asset to the Indian government then and, presented a budget that revolutionized Indian economy.

We got freedom from 'License Raj', imported goods were now available in shops, foreign companies could enter the Indian market and the software companies got a major boost. After presenting this budget, his words were, "India is now wide awake, we shall prevail and we shall overcome."" ~ Anant Ahuja

"In 1994, Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe title after winning the Miss India crown and became the first Indian woman ever to win the Miss Universe crown. The same year the runner-up of Miss India, Aishwarya Rai, won the Miss World title. Since then India has become the international beauty market and the face of indian beauty changed forever! With every beauty brand now available in India i would like to portray the Indian beauty in her journey to conquer the world!" ~ Simran Sahni

"November 19, 1997, as part of the six-astronaut crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space. On her first mission, Chawla traveled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 372 hours in space." ~ Ashish Jose

"Coming of the new millennium. Y2K." ~ Samya Ghosh

"In July 2003, a temple elephant broke loose and created havoc in a local Tamil Nadu temple. Following this incident, Chief Minister Jayalalitha commissioned the creation of Elephant Rejuvenation Camps - a month long holiday for temple elephants across Tamil Nadu to be taken to a natural retreat, be pampered, given proper medical care and be allowed to socialise with their kin. This has since become an annual event with more and more elephants participating each year, making friends and coming back the following year to renew their friendships. My artwork will be an ode to this story and others like these in India which are aimed at making the lives of our domestic animals better." ~ Vijay Krish

"On 29 August 2006, a 90% iron meteorite fell near Rawatbhata, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station and was discovered by two shepherds. This impact could have caused devastation on an unimaginable scale, reported GSI scientists. Had things gone differently, this spectacular event of discovering one of the rarest meteorites could have also been a disastrous occurrence of our time." ~ Svabhu Kohli

"Construction of Khajurao sculptures began in the 9th century.  The erotic images of same sex in those sculptures gives evidence of homosexuality existing in ancient india. The ban on homosexuality, however was a western import when Lord Macaulay inserted section 377 as sexual offences against the order of nature. It was only in 2009 that Indian law stood for its constitution for ensuring inclusiveness and equality to one and all." ~ Preeti Phougat

"First International Yoga Day" ~ Anna Chakravorty