Book Review: Jim Corbett – Friend of the Wild by Amar Chitra Katha

This is a comic book on Jim Corbett, a famous hunter in the Kumaon region during the British rule in India. It’s published by Amar Chitra Katha in an illustrated comic way for children. The book chronicles the life journey of Jim Corbett. Jim was born in 1875 in Nainital. He had Irish roots, Jim and his siblings were also fluent in local vernacular languages other than English. He was fond of his elder brother Tom. It was Tom who taught him the rules of Jungle and wild animals. Tom said that one should not hunt wild animals for fun or food, there has to be some valid reason.

That time hunting was normal but Jim was against it as he knew that one day these animals will extinct. Jim was a nature lover. He would roam across the forest for hours watching birds and animals. As a matter of fact, he begins making notes on bird and animals’ peculiar behavioral patterns.

The world knows Jim Corbett as a famous hunter. In fact, he was not. In his youth he worked in Bihar for laying railway tracks for the government. He was a kindhearted man that worked hard so that all his workers get paid on time. In one instance, he saved a local Baniya from being dying off cholera.

Jim also went to the UK to fight in the First World War. In a historic move, out of 500 soldiers, he returned with 499 alive. He keenly cared for wildlife and human values.

Jim never shot a tiger, he, as a matter of fact, killed man-eaters of hilly regions like Champawat, Rudraprayag, and so on. He cited the reason that all man-eaters were left wounded by hunters. A wounded tiger is dangerous and attacks people. It took him several days and immaculate planning to kill man-eaters.

The book also discusses the pre-independence and post-independence era. When India got freedom, Jim moved to Africa along with his relatives. He died in 1955. He wrote many bestsellers on animals and forest. It’s an informative book on his life. One can read it without losing interest, as it’s so beautifully illustrated.

The main character in the book is Jim Corbett and there are other many characters like workers, merchants, villagers, and his siblings. Overall, the book doesn’t incline to any one side, it maintains a healthy balance in all aspects.

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