Happy birthday to you both-Hinduism Today's India Edition and Dr. S. R. Kulkarni. On October 15, 1993, Hinduism Today is one-year old in India, and the good doctor is 68. Dr. Kulkarni, well established in the publications industry for many years, is Chief Editor of the Times of Science and Technology magazine. He's also an eminent writer-poet and a businessman, recently retired, who headed up the Oriental Book Distribution Company and 17 other companies-shipping, financing, import-export and more. As of this month, he is the chief editor of our Hindu family newspaper in India. We welcome heartily his joining the Hinduism Today extended family as the franchise holder of our India Edition.
In August Dr. Kulkarni spent four days with us here at Kauai Aadheenam (that's him standing next to me in the photo), during which time we came to know him well and to better understand his plans for Hinduism Today in his nation. The editorial staff was deeply impressed with his businesslike approach and by his dedication to Hindu dharma. We feel confident that together we can reach the hearts and minds of millions of devout Hindus. He brought us some plans he has crafted, remarkable plans to publish our Hindu family newspaper not only in English, but in ten other Indian languages-Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi and Oriya! Those ten plus the present English and Dutch make twelve. Imagine the power of that! These editions will have a total of 18 pages of editorial material in the regional language-the 14 we supply from Kauai and four additional pages of local news! These 12 editions will make Hinduism Today the single most influential Hindu journal anywhere. In fact, we feel that once all languages are in production, the very history and consciousness of Bharat will undergo a much-awaited, much-needed transformation. Basing his efforts in New Delhi, Dr. Kulkarni plans to open bureaus in ten Indian states to publish the ten regional editions, each fully staffed with reporters, editors, clerks, advertising salespersons and public relations officers. Some have suggested that our New Delhi franchisee take up the task of seeing that the multi-language editions extend worldwide. Mr. Gheewala, chief editor of our UK Edition in London, has already placed an order with Dr. Kulkarni for thousands of papers in Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil for distribution in his country. We expect that Indian branch centers will be established in Nepal, Sri Lanka and perhaps the former Soviet Union. Big plans ahead, and Daddy K. is just the person to fulfill them all. His sons and sons-in-law now manage his 18 companies, so his time for the remainder of his earthly experience is free to perform this religious duty and service for his beloved Mother India and his treasured Hindu religion.
Dr. Kulkarni's most recent book, Epic of Love, has been nominated for a Nobel Prize. After his stay in Kauai, he journeyed to Stockholm at the invitation of Claus Nobel, the grandson of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who established the Nobel Prize. Claus had written Dr. Kulkarni a beautiful letter after spending many hours reading his 850-page book of poems.
In India, as in most countries, it is difficult to establish a readership. A publication has to look just right to be accepted, read just right to be believed and feel just right to inspire. We had pondered even changing our format to make it more magazine-like. Dr. Kulkarni did his homework before his visit to Hawaii. He had a national survey done to determine how Hinduism Today should look to attract its new reading public. The results were: "It is just fine as it is. Don't change it into a magazine, which in India would make it too slick, too much like the cinema publications." We all took a deep breath, sat back and smiled. Of course, there are some innovations on the way. For example, we realized we really needed a "banner headline" on page one so that Hinduism Today will sell well at India's thousands of railway-station newsstands, where only the top six inches of the paper is visible. Our second such headline is in this issue. Do you like it? Look for many major graphic changes in January's issue. Noted astrologer Dr. Chakrapani also visited us in Hawaii recently and we asked him to review the astrological chart of Hinduism Today, founded January 5, 1979. After a few swift calculations, he said the chart showed that beginning in March, 1993, the paper would flourish internationally and great expansion would continue for several years. What do you know? The prediction has already begun to work. For 15 years we have all worked for this moment, waited for the right combination of people to begin the task of more dynamically informing, uplifting, strengthening the Hindus of Bharat. History is telling us, "Now is the time!"
In January, Dr. Kulkarni plans to begin the ten Indian language editions-perhaps the most important phase of growth for Hinduism Today. I would like to invite those of you who love Hindi and Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati, Bengali and Telugu and all the other tongues of Bharat to write to him. Join his team. There are so many ways you can help-as a translator, journalist, salesperson and more. He has undertaken an immense task, full of promise and sacrifice. But he cannot accomplish it alone. India is too big, too diverse for that. He will need regional help. And, internationally, he will need people in Africa, Europe and North America to get the various language editions into the hands of societies and key individuals. He already has signed contracts with some of the best newspaper distributors in India, but there are many more channels to be explored.
I urge you to write to Dr. Kulkarni, or visit him in New Delhi. You will find him a man committed to the task, giving of his abundant expertise, resources and energy to dharma in these mature years. These may prove to be the most productive years of his entire life, for he intends that Hinduism Today should change the course of Indian history. By getting Hinduism Today into the hands of millions, he feels he will have fulfilled his obligations to his parents and made a difference in the world, helped future mankind to be a little wiser, a little gentler, a little more peaceful. And aren't those wonderful goals to strive for? So, please join hands with him. Write, call, visit or just send a subscription for someone living in India (a real bargain at Rs.150): Dr. S.R. Kulkarni, Chief Editor, Hinduism Today India Edition, 1/25 B, N.E.A., Pusa Road, New Delhi 110 060, India. Phone: 91-11-777-0995; fax: 751-1431.