Sanskrit daily struggling to stay afloat

Article Source: The Hindu….

Sadly, this is an universal trend – lots of newspapers have wound down completely….In US , I know very old and popular companies are all closing down and sticking with digital version. However, I do agree that digital is not for everyone – particularly in India, where many might not be in a position to afford internet/computer etc… Not sure if there is any solution to this problem….However, they should aggressively go after digital route and reach as many people as possible…..If there is more information about them, we can spread the word here…..not sure if it would help….The least we can do to help….

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Sudharma has a print order of 3,000 copies a day and is despatched across India by post

Uncertainty haunts the future of Sudharma, the country’s only Sanskrit news daily printed from Mysore, as the absence of government subsidy and advertisement support has made it difficult to sustain.

In a digital age where print is perceived to be on the decline, it is indeed a remarkable achievement to keep a newspaper going, especially in a language considered “dead” in popular perception.

However, the founding-editor Pandit K.N. Vardaraja Iyengar, who launched the newspaper in 1970, did not venture into publishing for revenue but with an entirely altruistic motive. “The sole objective of launching the Sanskrit daily was to propagate the language “spoken by the gods”, and not for economic gain,” says his son and present editor K.V. Sampath Kumar.

Mr. Sampath launched its e-paper a few years ago in tune with the evolving digital age and to reach out to a global audience of Sanskrit enthusiasts. “Though the reach has widened, it has had little impact on revenue,” says Mr. Sampath, who is passionate about promoting Sanskrit. But the economic reality of running a newspaper without revenue is beginning to bite.

Sudharma has a print order of 3,000 copies a day and is despatched across India by post. However, the print and postal costs are adding to the growing expenditure, Mr. Sampath says.

While it makes economic sense to discontinue the print version and retain the digital version, Mr. Sampath believes not all subscribers of Sudharma may have access to the Internet, and so he persists in continuing the print edition.

In the initial stages, Sudharma could sustain itself. “But with rise in printing costs and the logistics of supplying the paper to the daily subscribers, sustaining a no-profit, no-loss model has become difficult,” says Mr. Sampath, who is reporter, sub-editor, proof-reader, editor, and publisher of his daily.



Categories: Announcements

6 replies

  1. Hara Hara Sankara, Jaya Jaya Sank
    ara.

  2. Dear Mahesh,

    I called Mr Sampath. He asked me to send a “At Par” cheque to the address
    Sudharma Sanskrit Daily, 561, 2nd Ramachandra Agrahara, Mysore-570 004.

    I am not sure how NRIs can send it. I can check with Sampath to understand how NRIs can send it , if need be. He asked me “NOT” to use the DONATE button in the Sudharma web page. I am not sure why.

    Thanks,
    Arun

  3. why not get the address and publish so that at least some people can subscribe just for the survival of this paper. that is the only way. in fact mahesh must be knowing about Mathur swamigal(earlier FC, chartered accountant in Indian Express)and the village Mathur where people speak only sanskrit, irrespective of caste creed or religion. perhaps that is the only place where this newspaper has a place now. it was similar case with the kuppusamy sanskrit research institute at sanskrit college chennai and they probably are now getting funds for just survival. let us join and help.

  4. This raises several important issues. The most serious is whether Sanskrit should continue to be rubbished by being made the medium of a daily newspaper which has to mainly deal with daily trivia. As the very name implies, Sanskrit is meant for higher purposes, having to do with human refinement. It is the special vehicle of higher thoughts and aspirations which make one transcend his animality ie prakriti. That is why our wise elders called it Sanskrit- it has to do with sanskriti- as distinct from Prakrit languages which were to do mainly with the affairs of the ordinary business of life.This is also the reason why it was called Deva basha- not because it was the language spoken or favoured by the gods, as mistakenly believed by many. God understands all languages -even the footfall of an ant, and equally loves all. It is we who need a special vehicle to convey and record higher thoughts, just as we use special vessels for sacred occasions.( After all, we don’t use the same mug both in the wc/bath room and the kitchen.) If we examine all the Indian languages, including Tamil, we will find that all the words to do with religion/philosophy/spirituality are derived from Sanskrit or based on Sanskrit notions.

    Besides we should also remember that many words in predominantly spoken languages undergo changes in meaning and usage in course of time. This will not do for subjects which require permanence, stability and continuity. In most languages, the written or literary form differs from the spoken one just to avoid this difficulty, but they become obscure in the long run. This problem Sanskrit has avoided by being Sanskrit..

    Many well-meaning people unfortunately believe that Sanskrit may be popularised by these means such as running a newspaper or reading a news bulletin in it. This is mistaken view. The only way we can foster Sanskrit or preserve it is for serious minded people to take up the study of standard Sanskrit literature.Cheap measures will not do. In fact., Sanskrit cannot be made popular ever, just like classical music cannot be made mass-based..

    We need not unduly worry that not many people read Sanskrit or even less speak it. Not many people-including Englishmen – know about or study Shakespeare. Is it any loss for Shakespeare?.

  5. Dear Mahesh,

    I called up Mr Sampath and am sending my humble contribution (with Maha Periyavaa’s blessing ) to this noble service being continued by Sampath. I have seen a lot of veda paatashaalas subscribing to this newspaper. Its a very good newspaper.

    ePaper Link : http://sudharma.epapertoday.com/

    -Arun

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