THE ONGOING World Book Fair in Delhi, organised by the National Book Trust (NBT), is all set to witness the launch of a “collection of stories on love jihad” by a firm that is part of a newly formed group of publishers associated with the RSS.
The 86-page book is titled ‘Ek Mukhauta Aisa Bhi’ (A Mask Like This), with the tagline “Love Jihad Par Kendrit Kahani Sangrah”, and includes 15 stories on the topic authored by Dr Vandana Gandhi, a teacher of sociology and education in Bhopal.
According to its publishers, Archana Prakashan, the book will be released on January 10 at the fair, which is being held at Pragati Maidan from January 6-14. Describing himself as a “swayamsevak”, Om Prakash Gupta, chief executive, Archana Prakashan, told The Indian Express: “It’s a book based on true stories of incidents of love jihad. Only the names of the victims and other characters have been changed. It is being published to create awareness among Hindu girls.”
Archana Prakashan is part of Rashtriya Sahitya Sangam, a group of 12 publishers from various parts of the country.
Rajiv Tuli, prachar pramukh of the RSS Delhi unit, described the Sangam as “a group of publishing houses run by people associated with RSS as swayamsevaks”. “It’s for the first time that RSS volunteers have formed a banner called Rashtriya Sahitya Sangam, under which a dozen publishing houses run by swayamsevaks have put up stalls of books at one place,” said Tuli, adding that senior RSS office-bearers are expected to attend the release of various publications of the group.
Apart from Archana Prakashan, the group includes: Suruchi Prakashan, Jammu-Kashmir Adhyyan Kendra and Sanskrit Bharti (Delhi); Kurukshetra Prakashan (Kochi); Lokhit Prakashan (Lucknow); Sahitya Sadhana Trust (Ahmedabad); Sahitya Niketan (Hyderabad); Akashwani Prakashan (Jalandhar); Bharatiya Sanskriti Prachar Samiti (Cuttack); Gyan Ganga Prakashan (Jaipur); and Shreebharti Prakashan (Nagpur).
This group claims to have put on sale around 1,500 titles in eight languages at the fair, including booklets under the “Gyan Maala” series for children over 7 years old, with stories on Lala Lajpat Rai, Maharana Pratap, Jana Sangh icon Deendayal Upadhyaya, the late RSS leader Dattopant Thengadi and others. When contacted, Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman, National Book Trust (NBT), said, “Stalls have been provided to publishers and I do not know who is associated with RSS or anyone else.”