At 90, Mahatma Gandhi’s press continues best-selling run

The Navajivan Press, founded in Ahmedabad by Gandhiji in 1919, has so far published over 1.5 crore books and reference material relating to his life and philosophy – the number represents a record in the publishing world.

Of Navajivan’s literary offerings, which encompass the most distinguished works on Gandhian thought, The story of my experiments with truth has been the indubitable bestseller.

Till date 50 lakh copies of Gandhiji’s poignant autobiography have been sold by Navajivan. The book was written during the freedom struggle which Gandhiji was leading from his ashram at Sabarmati.

The Navajivan Prakashan Mandir, popularly known as Navajivan press, is one of the major pilgrimage centres for Gandhians from across the world.

The press was the site from which Gandhiji began publishing and editing magazines like Harijan Bandhu and Young India.

A senior manager of Navajivan said that the press would complete 100 years of operations in a decade from now. The first centenary of the press will be commemorated by setting up a museum featuring 600 titles, on various subjects, written by Gandhiji.

“The books will be exhibited at a sprawling 9,000 square metre hall,” the manager said. “A machine used for printing “Harijan Bandhu” and other titles will be exhibited along with similar artefacts at the proposed museum”.

Foreign publishers have always been eager to publish the eclectic range of books written by Gandhiji. So far books such as Pathway to God, All men are brothers, and Nature Cure have been literary hits in many European countries.

And foreign publishers, working with Navajivan’s franchise, have published the book’s versions in Spanish, German, Italian French, Swedish, and Hungarian.

The trust has now permitted Israel and Indonesian publishers to produce translations.

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