Behind my non-co-operation there is always the keenest desire to co-operate on the slightest pretext even with the worst of opponents.

M. K. Gandhi
Young India, June 4, 1925, p.193

Navajivan Trust to publish ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’ in two more languages

Ahmedabad, September 22, 2014: Navajivan Trust, custodian and copyright holder of Mahatma Gandhi’s writings is going to publish Punjabi and Kashmiri translations of his autobiography. With this, Bapu’s autobiography will be available in all major 17 languages of India. The Punjabi edition translated by Shri Surinder Baansal will be made available on the auspicious occasion of Mahatma’s 145th birth anniversary on coming 2nd October. Kashmiri edition has been taken upon with help and support of Shri Ghulam Nabi Khayal and will be on the bookshelves across the country soon.

An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth”, Gandhiji’s autobiography,  is one of the most sold titles so far in the world since its first publication in 1927. Bapu had originally written it first in form of serialized chapters in Gujarati weekly Navajivan. The English version translated by his close associate Shri Mahadev Desai was being published in Young India weekly almost simultaneously. The first edition of autobiography in the form of book compiled in two volumes was published in 1927 in both English and Gujarati. Since then, about 5,86,000 copies of Gujarati and 19,35,000 of English editions have been sold worldwide.

It is to be noted that with the motive of spreading Gandhian ideology and Gandhiji’s message to the world, Navajivan Trust has set a policy of selling autobiographies at subsidized prices. After the copyright term of Mahatma Gandhi ended in 2010, various other publishers have also published the said autobiography, increasing its annual average sale of one lakh copies.

Considering the importance of the book, subsequent translations in Hindi and Marathi languages were taken up in 1957 and 1965 respectively. To mark 75th year of its consistent service to Indian readers, Navajijvan Trust decided to make the book available in all major Indian regional languages with the motto of spreading Bapu’s thoughts to every possible corner of the country. Considering the project, subsequent translations of Telugu, Tamil, Kannanda, Urdu, Bengali, Malayalam, Assamese and Oriya were published in the decade of 1990s. In the last phase of the project, Manipuri and Sanskrit translation were also made available in 2008-09. From the whole list, 6,55,000 and 7,10,000 copies of Tamil and Malayalam translations respectively have been sold in merely two decades. All other versions have also been sold in large numbers. The cost of any translation of autobiography is kept pocket-friendly even in higher production cost and inflationary market situations.

In addition to major Indian languages, Navajivan Trust has also permitted the translations in about 30 foreign languages covering almost all major European and Asian languages. Now, Managing Trustee Shri Vivek Desai has moved forward and has completed the aim with two more languages Punjabi and Kashmiri with help and wholehearted support of Shri Surinder Baansal and Shri Ghulam Nabi Khayal respectively. The books will have a whole different look and feel with newly made cover design and production. With this, Navajivan Trust has completed the project of making Gandhiji’s autobiography available in all major Indian languages.