Sudharma is the only daily newspaper published in Sanskrit.The paper is published from the city of Mysore in the Indian state of Karnataka. Started in the year 1970, the circulation of the paper is mainly through post.
Kalale Nadadur Varadaraja Iyengar, a Sanskrit scholar, launched this paper in the year 1970 with a goal of propagating the language. He was also a publisher of Sanskrit books and the Sanskrit moving types that were sometimes lying idle with him were another motivation for starting the newspaper.When he discussed his venture with others, he had to face the wrath of skeptics who warned him of his ‘misadventure’ and predicted the newspaper’s doom. This was because not many people believed that the Sanskrit language had a vocabulary sufficient enough to cover contemporary and complex day-to-day activities and developments. He was, however, supported in his venture by Agaram Rangaiah, who was an editor of a Kannadanewspaper and also by P. Nagachar, who was a former Joint Director of Information. Ignoring the skeptics, Varadaraja Iyengar published the first issue of Sudharma on July 14, 1970 from a location called ‘Ganapathi Totti’ in Maharaja’s Sanskrit College. He was also instrumental in starting a Sanskrit news bulletin on All India Radio by convincing I. K. Gujral, the then Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Government of India. Varadaraja Iyengar died in 1990. The paper is currently published out of a press in the Ramachandra Agrahara locality of Mysore.
The majority of the subscribers of the newspaper are Sanskrit scholars and students. The paper has a daily circulation of about 2000 copies. It has an annual subscription fee of Rs. 400 (about $7.5) and is circulated via post to academic institutions, public libraries and to readers throughout India. The paper is also subscribed to by readers in countries like Japan and the U.S.A with an annual overseas subscription fee of $50.
The profit gained by circulating the newspaper is negligible but Sampath Kumar wants to continue publishing the newspaper because of his passion for journalism and the Sanskrit language. He has had to struggle to keep the publication afloat. The paper has also helped its readers to learn and improve their knowledge of the language. On 15 July 2011, the 42nd anniversary of the paper’s publication was celebrated in Mysore. A unique feature of the celebration was that all speeches were in Sanskrit, which is a rarity, and two Sanskrit scholars were honoured on that occasion. This newspaper is available online as well.
ePaper and Subscription
ePaper is available for free reading at http://sudharma.epapertoday.com/. Readers may read it for free.