|(From top) Children’s comic books. Telegraph pictures
Nov. 28: Reading comics like the good old Tinkle, Panchatantra, Amar Chitra Katha or the evergreen Archies have no doubt retained their popularity among children even today.
But children these days have access to violent comics and video games on the Internet, which exerts an adverse impact on their mindset.
The children who have access to such violent reading material on the Internet have a tendency to develop an aggressive behaviour and take violent incidents to be a normal everyday occurrence.
“Research has shown that children who have easy access to reading material or video games of violent nature tend to develop an aggressive behaviour over a period of time. We have come across children who have developed an addiction to playing violent video games on the Internet. They remain engrossed in playing these games and tend to lose track of time and ignore their daily studies and other duties,” said Sangeeta Dutta, a psychiatrist.
“The mind of children can be easily moulded and when they have access to such violent materials, they start considering violent behaviour to be a normal thing and deal with others in a harsh manner, be it with their family or friends. If these things take up most of their time, they have less healthy interaction with their family and friends which alienates them farther,” she added.
Apart from the usual comics that are generally found, there is a wide variety of animation series and even epics available in illustrated versions for kids of all age groups.
The popularity of Chhota Bheem, an Indian animation, and of course Tom and Jerry in comic form is only growing with every passing day.
In fact, they have overtaken Harry Potter in terms of popularity at present.
Most book stalls here also do not keep stocks of comics with adult or violent content, which means that if any child has access to such materials it has to be through the Internet.
Moreover, it is difficult to monitor children surfing the Net because they are more tech savvy compared to their parents and most of the guardians do not use filters in their computers to block sites from where comics or video games of violent nature can be downloaded.
“Though children are now more into video games, we received many children who frequently drop by at our shop to purchase comic books. Among comics Chhota Bheem, Tinkle and Tom and Jerry are particularly popular. Many parents also come to pick up Panchatantra and Amar Chitra Katha series. The popularity of the Harry Potter series has gone down now. We do not sell any comics portraying violence as they have a detrimental effect on the young minds,” Sanchit Kumar, owner of a bookstall, said.
“Epics like Mahabharat and Ramayan are available in illustrated forms now. The language used in them is also very simple and a child of 11 years or above can easily comprehend them. The Princess Diaries and the Famous Five series are also popular among children,” said Kumar.