New Delhi: Two books by rationalist and social reformer E V Ramasamy Periyar are now available for readers in Hindi.
The books, Dharm aur Vishwadrishti and Sachchi Ramayan, originally written in Tamil, are among the first publications by Rajkamal Prakashan since the coronavirus lockdown in March.
“The people of north India are unfamiliar with Periyar's intellectual contribution to the political structure of the country. This is strange to hear, but true,” the publisher said in a statement.
“Today we need the original thought of Periyar. He wrote about issues like marriage, freedom of women, importance of literature, the weaknesses of Indian Marxism, the real intention and hypocrisy of Gandhism and Liberalism etc,” it said.
Rajkamal Prakashan group said it would be publishing two books every 10 days as it resumes publication after the pandemic.
During the pandemic, it added more than 100 e-books in its collection, while also engaging readers through its unique initiative on WhatsApp, where it continues to send reading materials, including stories and excerpts from classics, to over 30,000 phone numbers.
Stressing that the pandemic has given people time to read and re-read books, Rajkamal Prakashan group chairman Ashok Maheshwari said it was a matter of concern for the entire Hindi region that ideas of social thinkers like Periyar were rarely read in Hindi.
“Our plan for a long time was to collect his thoughts and publish them in one place in the form of a book. His works will be a guiding light for us today. It will be a happy experience to be able to read Periyar's thoughts in our language,” Maheshwari added.
Dharm aur Vishwadrishti (Religion and Worldview) and Sachchi Ramayan (Ramayan: True Reading) are now available for order at online stores and stands, the group said.