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Narayan Debnath, iconic Bengali cartoonist and creator of beloved characters, passes away

Debnath is the creator of the popular Bengali comic strips of Handa Bhonda (1962), Batul the Great (1965) and Nonte Phonte (1969).

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
Updated: January 18, 2022 5:08:57 pm
Narayan Debnath. (Twitter/@CartoonistsInd)

Noted cartoonist and Padma Shri awardee, Narayan Debnath, died Tuesday morning in Kolkata after a prolonged illness. He was 96.

He had been under treatment at a private hospital in the city for the last 25 days. Doctors at the hospital said his condition started deteriorating in the morning and he breathed his last around 10 am.

Debnath is the creator of the popular Bengali comic strips of Handa Bhonda (1962), Batul the Great (1965) and Nonte Phonte (1969). He holds the record for the longest running comic by an individual artist for the Handa Bhonda comic series which have now completed 53 years. He is the only comic artist in India who has received a D.Litt degree.

He spent most of his life in Howrah district’s Shibpur, where he was born. His family hailed from Bikrampur in what is now Bangladesh, but had migrated to Shibpur before his birth.

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Debnath was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2021. He also received the Sahitya Akademi Award and Banga Bibhushan Award in 2013.

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