Akshaya Mukul is one of the authors who received the New India Fellowship in 2011. He wrote the book “Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India” for the fellowship program. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India is an original, eminently readable and deeply researched account of one of the most influential publishing enterprises in the history of modern India. The book features an extraordinary cast of characters – buccaneering entrepreneurs and hustling editors, nationalist ideologues and religious fanatics.
The book has received many accolades. India Today’s Aakar Patel acknowledges that this is a first-rate piece of scholarship which will be one of the standard works on the subject for a long time.
He says, “this book is about the thinking man’s Hindutva. It is about true Indian conservatism. What does it mean to be conservative and to be ‘of the right’? This book tells us unambiguously it means to preserve our ancient traditions and our culture, no matter how regressive they may be in the modern world”.
He also added by saying, “the book illuminates that time in India’s history where much of our mythmaking happened. The idea and the definition of a Hindu identity as sharply posited against Islam and Muslims are a gift of this period. Much of this may be attributed to the Gita Press. It has put out over 150 million copies of various religious titles, primarily the Gita and the Ramayana of Tulsidas. This is astonishing for a country historically low in literacy and even lower in deploying its ability to read on actual texts”.