Sanskrit, A glorious language : Most of the gems of our cultural and religious heritage (the Vedas,Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Subhashitams, the Puranas) originated in this language. Even today,Sanskrit is taught in a few Sanskrit Veda Paathashaalas. Unfortunately, its spread outside these specialized schools is limited. Even worse, vested interests have been somewhat successful in spreading the idea that Sanskrit is the preserve of a select few from a particular stratum of society. All this has gone towards creating a general impression that Sanskrit is an inaccessible language that has negligible if not zero relevance in daily life. This misconception about Sanskrit has been a powerful tool for vested interests to denounce language as dead substance. To remove this misconception, it is necessary to demonstrate in practise that Sanskrit is indeed an accessible language that is versatile enough for practical use. This thought motivated Pandit Girvaana Vaani Bhushanam Vidyaanidhi Kalale Nadaadur Varadaraja Iyengar to start Sudharma. From its inception to date, Sudharma has been the only Sanskrit Daily Newspaper in the World. The beginning of Sudharma : On 15th of July 1970, Sudharma, the
only Sanskrit daily newspaper in the world, came into being in the Ganapati Sannidhi of Maharaja Sanskrit Paathashaala. Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar was the publisher as well as the Founder Editor, for almost twenty years, until his last breath, Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar worked tirelessly and selflessly to make sure that Sudharma regularly reached subscribers’ doorsteps and fulfilled the (high) expectations of Sanskrit lovers. The postal department facilitated the distribution of this newspaper. (5 paise per copy when it began). The Founder Editor : Varadaraja Iyengar was born in 1921 in a Vaidika family. After schooling in the traditional Sanskrit Paathashaala System, he attained the title of Pandit. Later, in 1955, he established his own printing press. A socially involved person, he was moved by the shortage of schooling for girls. This led him to found the Srikaanta Education Soceity dedicated solely to educating girl children. He was also involved with many other social service organizations. The founding of Sudharma and Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar’s courage of conviction in pursuing this project was appreciated by a number of intellectuals. Traditional intellectuals conferred upon him titles of “Girvaana Vaani Bhushanam” and “Vidyaanidhi”. From its inception till August 4, 1990, Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar worked tirelessly for the growth of Sudharma and the fulfillment of its larger mission. On August 5th, 1990 Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar merged with Paramaatma. Since then, his second son, K.V. Sampath Kumar has been managing this newspaper. Encouragement from eminent Persons : As word spread about Sudharma, curiosity and interest led many distinguished people to come to the Sudharma once and learn more about it. Such dignitaries were often surprised when they found out that contrary to what they thought; Sanskrit was a language that could be simplified and made easy to comprehend for the common man. Even when passed for time, many such dignitaries including distinguished Vidwaans, heads of various Mathas, and people in high government positions (including the President of India) had come to see the Sudharma phenomenon for themselves.The Founder Editor was appreciated by these dignitaries. Backbone of Sudharma : It is impossible for a single person to establish and run a newspaper. Vidwaans H. G. Shithikanta Sharma, T. Shankara shastri, Balaganapati Bhat, Shingappa, Araiyar Ramasharma, Roopa Naraya Pandeya, Venkatramana T. Bhat and other senior Vidwaans have cooperated with Sudharma for its smooth publication. After Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar’s demise., Vidwaan H. V. Nagarajarao & Vidwaan Dr. T.V. Sathyanarayana have been working tirelessly with dedication towards fulfilling Sudharma’s mission. Sudharma’s growth : At first, Sudharma used to be hand-printed. Since then, the printing process has been modernized. It is currently printed by computerized offset printing. In order to ensure swift dissipation of news, Sudharma has established an online e-paper on the internet as well. This has made Sudharma much more accessible. To this day, Sudharma’s cost has been maintained at a very reasonable level.
Financial assistance for Sudharma : Any newspaper requires a financial resource. The usual financial sources for most newspapers are advertisements, donations and contributions from the government. Being in Sanskrit, Sudharma has never had sufficient revenue from advertisements. It has not received financial support from the government either. Despite supporters’ encouragement, today’s high prices have led to several critical difficulties. Printing material and printing paper are much more expensive these days. Salaries for workers need to be raised in tune with the current costs of living. These economic pressures are making it increasingly difficult to run Sudharma as a newspaper. It is becoming impossible to provide the honorary editors with the honorarium due to them. In spite of these daunting difficulties. Sudharma has been appearing regularly for the past 40 years. Since from 2008 nearly 38 countries of Sanskrit lovers are reading Sudharma (e-paper) everyday. It is proposed to organize an All India Sanskrit Book Expo and also release several books in Sanskrit. About 50 scholars having Doctorate in Sanskrit are being provided with a common platformon that day to exhibit their skill and talents in their respective fields. On this occasion a photo exhibition is also being arranged for the benefit of the learned public about the Sudharma’s Sanskrit Daily . A Sanskrit Skit is also being arranged. July 2012 shall be an occasion to start celebrating the 43rd year of Sudharma.We appeal to one and all to share this joy and help Sudharma grow further. You may help Sudharma in the following ways. (a) Giving advertisements on yearly basis. (b) Encourage atleast five persons to become Subscribers of Sudharma. (c) Sending articles to Sudharma.
contact: K.V. Sampath Kumar,
0821-2442835 / 4287835