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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sad to read ! Gita Press ..... shutting down !!!

The design in its main entrance is noteworthy.  Every aspect of it represents India's rich architectural heritage. Each portion of the gate takes inspiration from specific ancient renowned temple styles. In effect, the entrance shows a panorama of Indian temple architecture.  The pillars of the entrance are based on the pillars of the famous cave-temple Ellora. The circular hollow in the middle portion, behind the chariot of Sri Krishna and Arjuna, is reminiscent of the mouth of the Ajanta cave temple. The peak of the Entrance reminds one of the head-part of the Meenakshi temple of South India. This grand and representative Entrance was inaugurated by the First President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on the 29th April 1955. 

It is ‘Gita Press’  a unit of Gobind Bhawan Karyalaya registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860  that has sold more than 1142 lakhs of Srimad Bhagavad Githa and close to 1000 lakhs of Sri Ramcharitamanas.  The institution came into being with the objective of promoting and spreading the principles of Sanatana Dharma among the general public by publishing the Holy Bhagwad Gita, Sri Ramayana , Upanishads, Puranas, discourses of eminent Saints at highly subsidised prices.  Its  founder, Brahmalina Shri Jayadayalji Goyandka, was a staunch devotee and an exalted soul.  The Governing Council (Trust Board) manages the institution. The institution neither solicits donations nor accepts advertisements in its publications.  In the Gita Press, the day starts with a morning prayer. A person roams around throughout the day to remind the name of God to each worker several times.

Over the years, the institution has made available more than 370 million copies of the Gita, Ramayan, Bhagvat, Durga Saptashati, Puranas, Upanishads, Bhakta-Gathas, and other character-building books in Sanskrit, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Bangla, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, and other Indian regional languages.  The "Kalyan" in Hindi and the "Kalyana-Kalpataru" in English are monthly magazines brought out by the institution. Information about latest releases, and essays are provided in the house-magazine "Yug Kalyan".

The sad news is such a great institution, is shutting down.   According to newspaper reports, Gita Press, the world's largest publisher of Hindu religious texts, especially Tulsidas's Ramcharitmanas, is shutting down. The historic publisher, established here in 1923, on Tuesday announced an indefinite lockout after talks between its management and employees over wage issues failed.

Workers had been demanding higher wages and medical benefits from the management, and in the past 15 days had resorted to sloganeering and protests to press for their demands. “The situation went out of hand in the past one month and with heavy hearts, we are closing down the press indefinitely,“ Gita Press trustee Devi Dayal said. The publisher is said to own an archival treasure of manuscripts, with hundreds of Bhagwat Gita interpretations alone. Presently, 185 permanent and 300 contractual employees working for Gita Press.

Deputy labour commissioner R P Gupta said the management and employees have been on a collision course since 1992. There were a number of talks between both the sides but all of them failed, Gupta said.

Very sad indeed that the Great Press is closing down !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Dec 2014.

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