Read sudharma e-paper
This scene was in the mid ’90s. The Paati (Ajji/Grandmother) in my apartments used to subscribe to a newspaper which I hadn’t seen anywhere. The newspaper was just one sheet – front and back. She would read it just after her lunch, around 11 in the morning. Clad in a madishaal, she would munch Chakkali or Mucchore (she would call this ‘Unda baayige oggarane’) and read interesting news bits. In between, she would tell how closely related she was to the editor and his father. I would enjoy a delicious coffee from her and listen to her. Paati used to read this paper and analyse the news like none of our present news analysts. I got addicted to this newspaper – but ever since Paati shifted, I lost touch with Sudharma.
The renowned Sanskrit daily is nearing 40. Sudharma was founded by girvanavani bhushana, vidyanidhi Sri Kalale Nadadur Varadaraja Iyengar, at Mysore in the year 1970. Sri K.N.Varadaraja Iyengar served HH Srimad Poundarikapuram Swamigal as a Srikaryam for many years. Sudharma was started with an intention to propagate Sanskrit, the mother of all languages.
After Sri KN Varadaraja Iyengar attained his acharyan’s thiruvadi (feet of the lord), his son Sri K.V.Sampath Kumar has taken over and is efficiently continuing the same. Sudharma carries a “Subhashitam” along with important announcements, articles, poems, short stories etc in simple Sanskrit. It is really a boon to those who wish to learn to understand/talk sanskrit.
All these are being successfully done at a very nominal cost of Rs 250/- per year (inclusive of postage). Even though the cost is not working out, Sri K.V.Sampath Kumar is continuing his mission just for the sake of propagating Sanskrit. The newspaper has readers in India and also overseas. The majority of the subscribers of the newspaper are Sanskrit scholars and students. Of course, a few Thatha-Paatis still subscribe to it.
Sudharma, the only Sanskrit daily newspaper in India, began its online version in June 2008. Sudharma daily sells around 3000 copies through subscription. The internet version of Sudharma is aimed at reaching a wider audience. The only income generated by Sudharma is from the 250 rupees of annual subscription. By going online Sudharma is planning to attract advertisers, which is essential for the survival of the only Sanskrit daily.
Kalale Nadadur Varadaraja Iyengar, a Sanskrit scholar, launched Sudharma with a goal of propagating the language. He was also a publisher of Sanskrit books and the Sanskrit moving types that were sometimes lying idle with him were another motivation for starting the newspaper. When he discussed his venture with others, he had to face the wrath of skeptics who warned him of his ‘misadventure’ and predicted the newspaper’s doom. This was because not many people believed that the Sanskrit language had a vocabulary sufficient enough to cover contemporary and complex day-to-day activities and developments. He was, however, supported in his venture by Agaram Rangaiah, who was an editor of a Kannada newspaper and also by P. Nagachar, who was a former Joint Director of Information. Ignoring the skeptics, Varadaraja Iyengar published the first issue of Sudharma on July 14, 1970 from a location called ‘Ganapathi Totti’ in Maharaja’s Sanskrit College. He was also instrumental in starting a Sanskrit news bulletin on All India Radio by convincing I. K. Gujral, the then Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Government of India. K. V. Sampath Kumar, the son of Varadaraja Iyengar, is the current editor of the newspaper. The paper is currently published out of a press in the # 561, 2nd Cross, Ramachandra Agrahara locality of Mysore.
The profit gained by circulating the newspaper is negligible but Sampath Kumar wants to continue publishing the newspaper because of his passion for journalism and the Sanskrit language. He has had to struggle to keep the publication afloat. The paper has also helped its readers to learn and improve their knowledge of the language. On 15th July 2007, the 38th anniversary of the paper’s publication was celebrated in Mysore. A unique feature of the celebration was that all speeches were in Sanskrit, which is a rarity, and two Sanskrit scholars were honoured on that occasion.
Sudharma is really a treasure house of information in easy understandable Sanskrit even to a novice. It truly reflects not only the glory that was India but addresses the contemporary topics with equal felicity. A must for all Sanskrit lovers.
I am now eager to tell my Paati about the online version of her favourite newspaper. (Yes, she browses the net to read Kannada eveningers.)
Contact Sudharma at the below address:-
Sudharma Editor: Sri KV Sampath Kumar
No. 561, 2nd cross, Ramachandra Agrahara,
Mysore – 570 004, Karnataka. INDIA.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail : email@example.com
Phone : 0821-2442835/ 4287835
Sudharma e-paper is an initiative by idii to bring regional newspapers online. To read more regional newspapers online, visit e-papertoday website.