As the country celebrates the World Sanskrit Week to popularise the "language of the gods," which previous External Affairs Minister, the late Sushma Swaraj, claimed was a modern language fit for computers, the only Sanskrit daily of India, Sudharma, published from here, is struggling for survival.
Economics apart, the number of patrons of this newspaper, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is dwindling. The management has now sought help from various government agencies which have shown little interest so far.
Sudharma was started by Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar, a Sanskrit scholar, in 1970, to reach out to those who loved the language and were interested in promoting it. These days, his son K.V. Sampath Kumar and his wife Jayalakshmi are continuing to keep the legacy alive. The newspaper, an-A3-size, two-page and five-column-sheet, has around 3,000 subscribers, mostly institutions and public libraries, who receive the copies by post. The e-version has around a lakh readers.
While newspapers in Hindi and other languages continued to do well, Sudharma, the only Sanskrit daily was finding it hard to keep running, as it seems to have run out of resources. "That's because no state or central body comes forward to assist us in any way and the response from various organisations in the private sector is indifferent," according to the editor K.V. Sampath Kumar.
Jayalakshmi, who is well versed in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, English and, of course, Sanskrit, believes the latter is a great language. People use it from birth to death for conducting Vedic rituals and religious ceremonies right across the length and breadth of the country.
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