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Spirituality sales hot at Delhi book fair

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 20:23 IST

India's prowess in IT may be making international headlines, but back home it is the good old Indian spirituality that is keeping cash registers ringing at the ongoing Delhi Book Fair.

More and more Indians, especially the youth and the upwardly mobile, are rediscovering spiritual classics like "The Bhagvad Gita" and epics like "The Ramayana" and "The Mahabharata".

The stall of Gita Press from Gorakhpur is a magnet of sorts attracting at least 100 devotees at any time of the day.

"We are happy to see so many people, especially the youth, interested in profound and beautiful philosophy of 'The Gita'," said Lalmani Tiwari, manager Gita Press.

"It is hard to keep a count of copies sold. We must have sold a few thousand copies of 'The Gita'," Tiwari added.

Elegantly designed copies of "The Gita" in different sizes are modestly priced between Rs 20 to Rs 400 are doing brisk business.

Varun Jain of Motilal Banarsidass, one of India's oldest publishing houses, was ecstatic at this renewed interest in Indian philosophy and culture.

"On an average, we are getting 800 - 1,000 visitors every day. It is heartening to see this reawakening of interest in Indian culture and spirituality," he said.

Stalls put up by Swami Chinmayanand Ashram, Osho Rajneesh Ashram and Ramakrishna Mission were also attracting people in large numbers.

"People want to learn meditation and know something about Vedanta. We are happy with the response of people," said a manager at Chinmayanand Ashram stall, who did not wish to be named.

Organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) and India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the nine-day book fair began on September 16.