Using this translation turn the pages a bit odd - sorry

Mystery's of Mandrake the Magician

Political Censorship in India

I was reading the Indrajal Comics issue 340 "The Course of Gold" (adapted from “Mandrake and Ali-Petro” Sundays 01 oct 1978 to 04 feb 1979) and found something strange ………….

In the Indrajal comic book version Ali-Petro had been renamed to Count Petro. But that was not all - Fred Fredericks had drawn Ali-Petro like a sheik with arabic cloths, but in the Indrajal story - Ali-Petro was wearing a suit!

panel from France and from the Indrajal comics

Horrible - but in India the bi figure Ali-Petro, figuring in almost every panel over 21 pages, had been erazed and total redrawn by the publisher. All this just to make the figure look non arabic.

Was this some kind of censorship? And why?

Could it be, that in the late 1970s, when India was trying to improve its relationship with the Middle Eastern states, the Indian authorities tried to make comic books more "politically-correct". And told the publisher that they had to redraw the original US strips they were using to become more "acceptable"?

One can find something similar in the issues of Indrajal Comics with the Phantom way back in the 60s, "Bangalla" or "Bengali" was changed to "Denkali". Reflecting the political climate of the time.

But redrawing a bi figure in an adventure .... Where is the respect for the artist who made the original strip.

Mandrake the Magican and the Phantom is copyright 2018 King Features Syndicate Inc., The Hearst Corporation