New Delhi: A Hyderabad-based digital platform, launched to promote literature and products related to Hindutva, has turned out to be a runaway success with more than 15,000 books sold by it in the last seven months.
The platform — HindueShop — was launched in June last year at the behest of a group of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers in Hyderabad.
The online venture is being run by Ajeyam Strategy & Marketing Pvt Ltd, a company registered in Hyderabad. But, a number of RSS volunteers also extend their support to the site by promoting it on social media and in various other ways.
“In a span of seven months, we have received patronage of customers from 25 states and union territories and have delivered over 15,000 books of national importance. It gives us immense satisfaction to have reached thus far,” said Parimala Nadimpalli, director, Ajeyam.
“We began this initiative to make HindueShop an online hub for those who love good books and those who like to get products that instill pride in our nation. We are extremely delighted at the support and affection shown by people across the country for this small endeavour,” she added.
An RSS functionary, who works closely with the platform, said HindueShop is supported not only by swayamsevaks, but also by those, who aren’t part of the RSS, but want to promote national awareness and “dharmic” thought.
“This initiative started in mid-June 2019 on Jyeshtha Shukla Trayodashi (15 June). Our mission is to promote national awareness and dharmic values among youth to make Bharat a culturally vibrant and strong nation,” added the functionary.
Art & craft items could be available on the site
Buoyed by the success of the online platform, the company has now decided to offer customers various art and craft items that will carry the message of Hindutva.
These items would be sourced from local artisans from various states and union territories.
The site, at present, offers books in English, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. Plans are already afoot to provide books in other languages too.
“We have curated books from some major publishers and some not so big, but those who have brought out significant books,” said Nadimpalli.
The digital platform has curated books from 50 publishers.
The books available on the platform are primarily related to Hindu dharma, culture and art, national security and awareness, sociology, history, education, polity, economics, science and technology, yoga and wellness.
It also offers books on significant contemporary issues.
“In addition, a lot of confidence-building literature for children and teens are available with a view to equip them with cultural and social values with a clear understanding of our past,” said another RSS functionary associated with selection of books for the site.
Classics for the younger generation
“Classics have a great way of elevating personality. We identified a few classics that were not much known to today’s generation and reached out to the publishers of those books,” the second functionary said.
“We were able to introduce classics like Krishnavatara by K.M. Munshi, The Vedas by Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, The Dance of Shiva by Ananda Coomaraswamy, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton, stories from Indian classics, Panchatantra and so on,” he added.
A team of five people look after the site’s operations. However, a large team of ‘HindueShop Mitra’ (friends of HindueShop) help in promoting the site across the country.
The site has an editorial advisory that selects the books, while the management team coordinates with the publishers and logistics team take care of the procurement and delivery.
There are volunteers who help promote the site on social media.
There are books available on the site by prominent figures such as K.M. Munshi, C. Rajagopalachari, K.S. Lal, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Koenraad Elst, Rajiv Malhotra and Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, among several others.
(The writer is CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra and author of two books on the RSS).