Gorakhpur (UP) | The Gita Press will allow free download of the Ramcharitmanas from its website as it is unable to meet an increased demand for the holy book ahead of the January 22 Ram temple consecration ceremony, an official said.
Established in 1923, the Gita Press is one of the world's largest publishers, and according to its manager Lalmani Tripathi, it has published 95 crore books in 15 languages. The Gorakhpur-based publisher, which was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize last year, has stores across the country.
Giving a comparison, he said in 2022, it had printed and distributed around 75,000 copies of the Ramcharitmanas. Since the announcement of the date of the "Pran Prathistha" at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the demand for the book has increased manifold, he said.
The date of the ceremony, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was announced by the Ram temple trust on October 26 last year.
"Due to limited space, we are unable to meet the demand for printing and distribution of the Ramcharitmanas," Tripathi said.
"We do not have the preparedness to suddenly print and provide 2 lakh to 4 lakh copies of the Ramcharitmanas. Since last month, we have managed to make available 1 lakh copies of the book", he said.
Even after this, the demand is not being met, Tripathi said and added that Gita Press does not have sufficient stock.
"In many places, we have to humbly say that we do not have stock available. Recently, we received a demand for 50,000 Ramcharitmanas from Jaipur and a demand for 10,000 copies came from Bhagalpur, which we had to regretfully decline. This is the scenario across the entire country," the manager said.
"Currently, we are uploading the Ramcharitmanas to the Gita Press website. Starting from Tuesday, it will be available for free download. We will provide this service for 15 days, allowing up to 50,000 people to download," Tripathi said.
If the demand increases, "we will scale-up the traffic capacity, enabling up to 1 lakh people to download the Ramcharitmanas simultaneously", he said and added that this service could also be extended.
Ever since the announcement of the date of "Pran Pratishtha" (consecration ceremony), there has been an increasing demand for the Ramcharitmanas and the pressure to supply the book has increased, he said.
People are so enthusiastic that they are considering distributing the Ramcharitmanas, the Sunderkand and the Hanuman Chalisa on a large-scale for recitation, Tripathi said.
He said after the "Pran Pratishtha", the demand for the book may further increase as a people visiting ayodhya after the ceremony, "might think about taking the Ramcharitmanas as 'prasad' to their homes".
"Considering that we publish books in 15 languages and have over 2,500 book distributors associated with us, we also need to take into account their demands as their livelihoods are dependent on it. We are exploring various options to expand our capacity so that we can meet the increasing demand for books," Tripathi said.