Garuda Books is a publishing house that has a reputation for publishing books that are not accepted by established book publishers. The publishing house rose to fame in 2020 when it published the book Delhi Riots: An Untold Story by Monica Arora.
The publishing house believes in publishing stories about the new India and the recent public debates, ranging from India’s long-neglected contribution to science and mathematics to the realities of Mughal rule. The person behind the publishing house is an IITian, Sankrant Sanu, who worked in Seattle for nearly 30 years.
Story Of The Birth Of Garuda Books
Working for 30 years in the US, Sankrant Sanu felt that the Indian perception of American society was a mirage. He found American society on the verge of a breakdown. The relationships and marriages were broken, and children were not being taken care of. He says, “1/5th of the US population is on psychiatric medicine. 10% of the population has a negative net worth [they are in debt].”
This made him return to India and learn about the Hindu civilization. He immersed himself in meditation, yoga, and sadhana. He believes that Hindu culture should not be just read but brought into action as it is a way of life. He has been doing so for the past 15 years. In 2017, Garuda was born.
Sanu says, “Garuda was founded with a mission in mind, to bring to the fore long suppressed indic narratives and wrest out forgotten Hindu traditions from the dark ages. The books published are undeniably producing serious scholarship.”
Types Of Books Published
The books that are platformed on Garuda deal with the history and science of a glorious Indian civilization. Also, it tends to publish materials that have the alternative narrative of right-wing conservatives. Ankur Pathak, the cofounder of Garuda, affirms the rigorous editorial process and thorough referencing. He says, “We put facts on the table.”
The Print reports, “Garuda’s covers are dramatic. Stormy clouds above a faceless, saffron crowd and an imposing mythic hero form the cover of Mahabharata: Retold with Scientific Evidence.”
Bhaskar Kamble’s, The Imperishable Seed: How Hindu Mathematics Changed the World and Why Its Legacy Was Erased, is one of a kind book published by the Garuda.
Sabareesh PA is the author of ‘A Brief History of Science in India’ and a Ph.D. scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University. His thesis propounds the benefits of Ayurveda and traditional medicine and deals with other such “ancient philosophies.”
Persian scholar Francois Gautier’s Aurangzeb’s Iconoclasm: Illustrations from Primary Sources talks about how the Kashi Vishwanath temple was destructed on the orders of Aurangzeb at the site of Gyanvapi mandir. The book uses miniature paintings and court sermons to show the reality of Aurangzeb’s reign.
Controversies Regarding Books
Bhaskar Kamble’s book on Hindu mathematics was criticized on Twitter by a “famous mathematics professor” for “spreading Hindu nationalism.” Delhi Riots: An Untold Story was withdrawn by Bloomsbury just a day before its release, but eventually, it got published one month later by Garuda Books. Garuda stood by the book when major publication houses denied doing so. However, this book is said to be rife with misinformation.
The books published by Garuda are often marred by controversies. It is said that the books propagate Hindu nationalism. Sanu is indifferent to the controversy, quick in his dismissal, and certain that it doesn’t negatively impact their sales.
There are various authors whose books were rejected by the leading publishers, and then Garuda gave them a platform. It brought the publisher a great deal of criticism, but Sanu ignores this criticism, as according to him, “There’s a section of Indians who react to everything.”
Earlier, Garuda did not have enough market penetration, but now it is available on airport bookstands and has an online bookstore. This can be seen in the wake of the rise of Hindu nationalist discourses in the country, where publishers like Garuda are gaining their ground in the book market.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
Sources: The Print
Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi
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