India’s Constitution, it seems, finds no shortage of takers even on a day when it is available online and available on the phone for free, as Parliament steps up efforts to make Indians more aware of the ‘temple of democracy’.
Participating in the just-concluded World Book Fair in the national capital for the first time, Parliament sold books worth Rs 10 lakh in five days. And the most sought-after among the books was the replica of the original calligraphic Constitution of India, which sold about 500 copies.
The “true copy” of the world’s longest handwritten Constitution, which costs Rs 1,200.
“The indications (of interest among people) were there, but the frenzy of the book fair was a revelation,” an official said.
Data from the last three years show that almost 3,000 copies of the Constitution have been sold by the Parliament, which represents a steady increase in sales from its counter. Besides the Parliamentary Library, the calligraphic replica is now available at some Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and other government counters.
At the book fair, Parliament sold nearly a hundred copies of the Constituent Assembly debates (Hindi and English). ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament’, ‘Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’ and ‘Netaji and the INA’ were among the other books sold.
“Many bowed with folded hands to the replica of the original Constitution on our counter,” said a senior official, who is part of the project by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRID), a branch of Parliament.
In line with efforts to make its resources accessible to the people, Parliament is working to digitize its entire library – all bills, debates, arguments, reports, etc. – freely available to the public.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, officials said, has given PRIDE an unprecedented push to take Parliament to the “masses”, even crossing the country’s borders. Sources say Bhutan, Ghana and Zambia have shown interest in setting up parliamentary training centers in their countries, as have Kenya, Myanmar and the Maldives.
While schools in Delhi and NCR are known for taking students to visit Parliament, data shows that more than 12,000 students from all over the country have visited Parliament since 2018. work and physical visits, hundreds of students from schools and colleges from states and UTS such as West Bengal, Kerala, Northeast, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kashmir, Telangana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands among others have come since the visits resumed last year. year