You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

After selling 580 mn books, Gita Press faces labour crisis

Publisher of religious books mulling shifting out of UP

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

After selling 580 million books, Gita Press facing existential crisis

Gita Press, the Gorakhpur-based publisher of Hindu religious and spiritual books, is facing a major labour crisis, presumably for the first time in its 92-year history.

The publisher, which clocked cumulative sales of 580 million books, is grappling with a workers’ strike over pay hike and workers’ suspension and termination.

Last month, the management had suspended 12 staffers and terminated the services of five contractual empl- oyees over alleged indiscipline and assault on an assistant manager. Gita Press has about 200 permanent and 250 contractual employees. Later, the workers had proceeded on a strike demanding revocation of the suspension and termination. Several rounds of talks between the management and the workers have failed to resolve the crisis.

Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath, who wields considerable influence in the region, had also intervened. But the latest round of talks, on Friday, also failed to break the ice.

Gita Press Trust Board chief Radhey Shyam Khemka said over telephone from Varanasi: “During the course of talks, we conceded to the original demand of the workers regarding revocation of suspension. However, the workers are now demanding a hike in remuneration as well, which we said would be considered only after two-three months after the restoration of normalcy.” of operations. But they (striking workers) are unrelenting.”

Gita Press prints from Gorakhpur while the editorial team, of 15-20, is housed in Varanasi.

There have been talks of the management mulling shifting the press to Gujarat or Maharashtra if the strike continues for long. “However, such a step would be the last resort”, Khemka said, adding that a handful of troublem-akers were instigating others to strike.

Khemka is also the editor of Kalyan, a popular spiritual magazine published by Gita Press.

A similar crisis had erupted a few months back at Gita Press, which was resolved after the intervention of senior district officials. But the latest strike has hit the publication of several books and titles.

Gita Press, which had started publishing in Hindi and Sanskrit, now publishes texts in English and Indian languages such as Sanskrit, Urdu, Telugu, Oriya, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi. Gita Press is a unit of Gobind Bhawan Karyalaya, registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (governed by the West Bengal Societies Act, 1960).

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, September 08 2015. 00:40 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.