A Grand Success: Some Book Fair Statistics

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Whoever has visited the World Samskrit Book Fair in January 2011 in Bangalore got one message loud and clear: Samskrit is not merely surviving, it is very much thriving in the hearts of people, and has a bright future ahead as a living language and as people’s language. People who were skeptical whether there is enough public interest to sustain the program over four days, saw first hand that every venue at the fair including book stalls and exhibition was jam-packed most of the time. Not only that, at least a dozen book stall owners  closed down because their entire stock was sold in the first two days! It’s not merely curiosity about Samskrit, it is people’s thirst for Samskrit literature that was so amply demonstrated at this book fair. So much so, that both public as well as publishers want more such fairs to be held at multiple places, multiple times in a year.

The main auditorium was at least 70% full for all events, even those conducted in pure Samskrit, not just during the cultural programs in the evening. The area was equally packed with people during  Sri S.P.Balasubrahmaniam’s concert as during the Samskrit fusion music concert.

What this book fair demonstrated is the massive amount of Samskrit interest among the general public, not merely among scholars, as evidenced by the turnout for every kind of event.

The Verdict

  • “UNPRECEDENTED”
  • “UNFORGETTABLE”
  • “INCREDIBLE”
  • “BEYOND EXPECTATIONS…”
  • “When is the next…”

The World Samskrit Book Fair 2011 at a Glance

  • 128 publishers – a first time ever (100 publishers expected)
  • 154 stalls – all sold out (136 originally planned)
  • 12 Lakhs books sold – (5 lakh book sales expected)
  • > 4 lakh visitors ( 1 to 1.5 lakh visitors expected)
  • Rs. 4 crores worth of Books Sales ( 2 crores targetted)
  • 1.5 Lakh books given away as ‘Pustaka Prasada’ – a first!
  • 308 New Samskrit Titles + CD/VCD/Audio books released at the Book Release Functions – a record!

Some Interesting Facts

  • Dignitaries Included..
    • All Vice Chancellors of Samskrit Universities
    • Ministers & State representatives from 6 States (MP, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarkhand, MHRD, Karnataka)
    • Spiritual leaders, Polititicians, IAS & IPS officers
  • More than 200 Schools & Colleges came to the Exhibition
  • 44 Schools participated in cultural events & competitions
  • 3 publishers sold off all their books on the very first day!
  • 50 stalls were empty on the third day
  • Largest number of books sold were – Modern and Simple Samskrit literature
  • Live coverage by Sri Sankara TV Channel
  • Live Web cast of the event worldwide

Six Great Programs, One Historic Event

Here are the statistics of the proceedings both leading up to and during the book fair. There were six programs:

  1. Spoken Samskrit Camps during November and December 2010
  2. Jnaanagangaa (ज्ञानगङ्गा) – Exhibition on the Samskrit-based Knowledge Heritage of India
  3. Cultural Extravaganza
  4. Samskrita Graama
  5. National Samskrit Conference
  6. World Samskrit Book Fair

Spoken Samskrit Camps

  • 520 ‘Speak Samskrit in 10 days’ camps during November and December 2010 in Bangalore.
  • New Developments in Bangalore:
    • 28 new Tutor Training Centers developed
    • 146 new Tutors trained to teach Samskrit through the medium of Samskrit
    • Lawyers, Professors, Doctors, Software Engineers among those trained
    • 300 new teaching centres formed in Bangalore, including at  Infosys, Yahoo, Microsoft, NetApp
    • More than 20000 Bangaloreans learnt to speak Samskrit

Jnaana Ganga Exhibition

  • Jointly organized by IIT Mumbai, ISRO, C-DAC, JN Planetarium, National Manuscripts Mission, Dhatu, Samskrita Bharati and many other research organizations
  • 25 topics and 500 charts covering Astronomy, Metallurgy, Medicine, Agriculture, Mathematics, Town planning, Management principles among others.
  • Models of Vyoohas from the Mahabharata war
  • Mini Planetarium
  • Models of various devices
  • Mobile Manuscripts Protection Unit

Cultural Extravaganza

  • Musical Performances
    • Samskrita Sangiita Kaveri by Vidwaan Sri Vidyaabhushana
    • Samskrit Fusion Music by Sri Rajesh Krishnan (Kannada movie playback singer)
    • Rasamanjari by Dr. S.P. Balasubrahmaniam
    • Samskrita Gaana Goshthi by Vidwaan Sri R.K. Padmanabha
  • ‘Dharmabhumi’ – Samskrit Ballet by Sri Prabhath Kalavidaru
  • Dance Performances
    • Manipuri
    • Bihu
    • Garba
    • Pala
  • Samskrit Film -’Blacharitam’ Directed by Smt Dr S R Leela
  • Samskrit Drama – ‘Kaarakam’ bu Chotipuri Gurukula Girl Students
  • Samskrit Kavya-Chitra- by Shatavadhani R Ganesh, Sri BKS Verma
  • Samskrita Yakshagana – by Sringeri Vidyapeeth
  • “Ashtaavakra” – a Samskrit Puppet show by Dhatu

Samskrita Grama

  • Walk through experience at a Samskrit Village
  • Experience of day-to-day Samskrit conversations @
    • School
    • Post Office
    • Mechanic Workshop
    • Graam Panchayat
    • Shops
    • Samskrita Grham & the portico
    • Children playing Samskrit
    • Samskrit street plays (veethi natakam) by Shibham Karoti & Maitreyi Gurukul students

National Samskrit Conference

  • 1300 volunteers
  • 7146 registered participants, more than 1500 local participants
  • Accomodation in 53 Kalyan Mantaps
  • 70 food counters in 4 Kalyan Mantaps under natural scenery
  • Delegates from 23 states & 2 Union territories
  • Delegates from 500 districts and 2100 Towns and Villages
  • Participation from 15 countries
  • Programs
    • Kavi Goshthi
    • Youth conference
    • Women’s conference
    • Science conference
    • Workshop on Management Principles
    • Shalaakaa Pareeksha
    • Seminar on Samskrit education
    • Seminar on Samskrit Book Publication

One Response to “A Grand Success: Some Book Fair Statistics”

  1. PRAHLAD R JOSHI ;TIRUPATi

    I was eagerly awaiting for these statistics thank you


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