Punjab Language department to publish 10,000 copies of much awaited ‘Mahankosh’
PATIALA: Much awaited Mahankosh which is also known as the encyclopedia of Sikh literature would now be available soon with the department of Punjab Bhasha Vibhag (Language department Punjab) in Patiala. The department is getting re-printed its 10,000 copies and the publication is underway.
The state language department is getting published its ninth edition this year whereas its 8 th edition was published in 2011. The department officials claimed that earlier the price was Rs 375 after discount while this time the price is revised but the discounted price would not go beyond Rs 500. The officials of the language department claimed that besides revision of the price a family tree of Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha was also being published.
Director Bhasha Vibhag, Karamjit Kaur, said, “The publication is under process and within this month we are expecting the reprinted edition of Mahankosh to reach us. The actual price is decided by the Controller Printing and stationary department. We are supposed to give discount up to 40 percent on the purchase of books having total worth Rs 1500. There was a lot of demand for this reference book but the department faced a shortage of funds earlier. We are getting a number of other reference books and rare books published soon”
The language department Punjab got a grant of Rs 2 crores from the state government to reprint the books including another edition of Mahankosh but the project lagged behind for over a long time.
This year, the officials of the language department claimed to have sent a proposal with a demand of re-publication of around 10,000 copies of the Mahankosh and out of Rs 2 crores annual grant the department would be spending more than Rs 50 lakh on reprinting the editions of Mahankosh.
Its demand has been on the rise after the translated edition of Mahankosh by Punjabi University had landed into the controversy over alleged distortions. The printed edition of Bhasha Vibhag is rendered as most authentic and was cheaper in price.Mahankosh was penned down in 1930 by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha and was printed by Dhani Ram Chatrik press while from 1930 to 1938 Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha researched his own Mahankosh and made some additions, deletions and corrections known as addenda. Considered as one of the greatest works of Punjabi, Mahankosh was published along with 132 pages-addenda by the state language department in 1960 under its Director Shamsher Singh Ashok who was also known as a close friend of Bhai Kahan Singh.
Also known as ‘Gurshabad Ratnakar Mahankosh’, it has marred in several controversies after the Punjabi University had reprinted it with several additions and subtractions that allegedly not only led to the distortion of facts but also came under the lens for polarizing it with mythology. An amount of Rs 2.5 crores were spent by the University on the publication of the ‘Mahankosh’ and a total of 20,000 copies in Punjabi, English and Hindi languages were translated and printed. The University’s Mahankosh cost Rs 1350 after fifty per cent concession, whereas the one provided by the Punjabi language department cost only Rs 375.