It has been 140 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. And his autobiography continues to be a bestseller with annual sales of 2,00,000 copies even in these rapidly changing times.
Until 10 months ago, Navjivan Trust alone had the copyright on all of Gandhi’s works.
“The expiry of the copyright has had no adverse impact on sales. It is still as high as before,” Jitendra Desai, managing trustee Navjivan Trust, told IANS over telephone.
“The sales of the autobiography are about 200,000 annually, in all languages,” he stressed.
The Navjivan Trust is concerned that Mahatma Gandhi’s books must remain accessible to the common person. Its own publications of Gandhi’s works are low priced and affordable.
The apostle of non-violence is said to be the only public figure to have written so much.”He wrote without stopping. When his right hand got tired, he would use his left. There is still so much of his work not in the public domain – as many as 30,000 pages are scattered in the form of letters and othes writings,” Anupam Mishra, member Gandhi Peace Foundation, told IANS over the phone.
These unpublished writings are with individuals and institutions.Scholars and admirers of Mahatma Gandhi feel this should all be compiled and brought under a designate authority.
“Now we want to regularise and make available the original corpus of his work. The concept is to collect, restore and reprint all the regional ‘Gandhiana’ and to bring it into public domain,” said Dina Patel, a senior Gandhian scholar from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
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Aly Chiman November 13, 2018
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