Well, I did not just imagine the interest in our religious books at the Kolkata Book Fair last week. One of the Indian newspapers here reports that religious bookstalls at the fair drew large crowds, and that the sale of religious books are up twenty-five percent.
The February 11th edition of the Daily Excelsior reports that religious books "are sought after more than the principles of Mahatma Gandhi or the ideology of Karl Marx by Bengali youths as spiritualism triumphs over politics in this east Indian metropolis."
"Sales of books at the just concluded Kolkata book fair indicate that the successors of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Bengal are now growing apathetic to active politics and leaning towards religious preachings. While the sale of religious books has risen as much as twenty-five percent, it has dwindled to five per cent in respect of books on politics."
Religious bookstalls at the Kolkata book fair drew big crowds, the newspaper notes. "A large number of those visiting these stalls were young people, students of city colleges and the age-old Calcutta University and Jadavpur University, who say they still have faith in the country's democratic process but will no longer allow political parties to exploit them as they did in the past fifty-five years."
The report concludes: "Corruption is giving birth to the overall degeneration in politics, which in turn is creating this apathy towards the prevailing system, making students lean further towards the 'higher art of living.'"