Wednesday, October 01, 2008

મહેન્દ્ર મેઘાણીઃ ગાંધી-ગંગા પછી ગાંધી-થેમ્સ

આવતા વર્ષે ગાંધીજીનાં મૃત્યુને સાઠ વર્ષ પૂરાં થતાં, તેમનાં લખાણ કોપીરાઇટ-મુક્ત થવાનાં. તેને અનુલક્ષીને ‘સ્વામી સંક્ષેપાનંદ’ર્ના લાડકા નામે ઓળખી શકાય એવા મહેન્દ્રભાઇ મેઘાણીએ ગાંધીજીનાં બે મુખ્ય આત્મકથાત્મક અંગ્રેજી લખાણોના સંક્ષેપનું કામ હાથ પર લીઘું છે.
અમેરિકા હોય કે અમદાવાદ, એકસરખા ઉમળકાથી સંપર્કમાં રહેતા, તેમને ઠીક લાગે એવાં કતરણો - મુખ્યત્વે ન્યૂયોર્ક ટાઇમ્સમાંથી- લાગણીપૂર્વક મોકલી આપતા મહેન્દ્રભાઇના આ પ્રોજેક્ટની વધારે જાણકારી તેમના જ શબ્દોમાં:
Gandhi’s birthday, October 2: On this auspicious day it is my good fortune to complete a combined condensation of the two famous books about Gandhi’s life which he wrote himself: Satyagraha in South Africa (original Gujarati in 1924, English translation by Valji G. Desai in1928) and An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (original Gujarati in 1925, English translation by Mahadev Desai in 1927).

Many biographies of Gandhi have been written by eminent writers in India and abroad in various languages. But these two books by Gandhi himself occupy a special place, and anyone in any country wishing to read about Gandhi for the first time could do no better than begin with these two autobiographical volumes.

However, together they contain nearly 770 closely printed pages. It would be difficult for most people today to read all of them. Out of an intense anxiety to put these two books before the people, especially the young, in all countries, I have tried to prepare a combined condensation of about 250 pages. It is quite modest in size and should be made available worldwide for the equivalent of US $2.50 maximum. If found suitable this could be translated in many languages.

To begin with, 100,000 copies of the English translation may be published on Gandhi’s death anniversary on January 30, 2009. This task, and that of subsequent translations, becomes simpler now because the copyright in Gandhi’s writings expires on December 31, 2008.

It is my humble request that this condensation may be examined by Gandhi’s admirers in all lands. If they find the effort worthwhile, the book may be reprinted in English locally in different countries and subsequently translated in national languages. Nobody’s permission will be required for doing this as, at long last, sixty years after the death of Gandhi, his writings will now become the property of all mankind.

In November the book will go into printing in India. Then it would be possible to work out the cost of production and distribution worldwide and fix the exact price including bulk discounts.
These particulars will be then posted on www. lokganga. blogspot. com. Those interested may kindly wait till then to place their orders. In the meanwhile they could spread this information as widely as possible.

Mahendra Meghani
Lokmilap Trust
P.O. Box 23
Bhavnagar 364001 India

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