Lucknow Fascinated: Rahul Gandhi’s Display Sparks Surge in Demand for Pocket Constitution Edition

TCN News

Lucknow: A leather-bound copy of the Constitution, measuring approximately 20 centimetres in length and nine centimetres in breadth, has strong ties to Lucknow through its publishers, who first printed it in 2009. This copy gained prominence during the Lok Sabha elections when former Congress President Rahul Gandhi frequently displayed it.

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New agency PTI has quoted the Eastern Book Company as saying that the interest in this coat pocket edition of the Constitution has surged since Gandhi showcased it during his campaign.

Sumeet Malik, a director at Eastern Book Company, said the concept of creating a pocket-sized edition originated from Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan. He suggested they publish a version convenient for lawyers to carry in their court pockets.

“The inaugural edition was introduced in 2009, and since then, approximately 16 editions of this book have been released,” Malik explained. “Over the years, these copies have been acquired by numerous lawyers and judges. Additionally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a copy to Ram Nath Kovind upon his assumption of the presidency.”

He noted that the book has also been exchanged as gifts among dignitaries. Supreme Court judges often carry copies with them when traveling abroad to present to their international counterparts.

Describing the dimensions of the coat pocket Constitution, Malik mentioned the use of Bible paper, known for its thinness. He emphasized the considerable effort invested in selecting the font and font size. According to Malik, all article numbers are printed in red, while the main text appears in black. He clarified that there were no specific requests regarding these aspects from the legal community.

When questioned whether interest in the book had increased following Rahul Gandhi’s displays of it at election rallies, Malik responded, “There has been a noticeable rise in inquiries and orders since Rahul Gandhi began showcasing the book at his campaign events and rallies. People are now requesting it more frequently.”

“In the initial edition, we sold approximately 700-800 copies. By the time we reached the latest edition (16th), sales had increased to about 5,000-6,000 copies per edition,” he stated. “Given the current publicity surrounding it, we anticipate even higher sales figures this year.”

On May 10, Gandhi spoke at the Samvidhan Sammelan in Lucknow, hosted by the Samruddha Bharat Foundation. During his address, he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of undermining the Constitution. “Modi ji behaves like a monarch, I am speaking the truth,” Gandhi had asserted.

The 14th edition of the coat pocket Constitution, released in 2022, was priced at Rs 745. In the foreword written by former Attorney General of India KK Venugopal for this edition, he expresses, “When you grasp this compact leather-bound book, you hold the destiny of the nation itself. Could the framers have foreseen the trials, controversies and conflicts that would ensue from its implementation?”

He also added that they would have clearly envisioned the significant benefits that marginalized sections of society would gain through the implementation of its provisions.

According to the company’s website, the EBC Group, established in 1942, specializes in legal publishing with offices in multiple Indian cities and internationally. In the 1940s, brothers CL Malik and his younger brother PL Malik, who have since passed away, decided to make Lucknow their home and ventured into the field of law bookselling and publishing. They laid the foundation for what has now evolved into a group of companies known as EBC.

Meanwhile, senior UP Congress leader and AICC member Ashok Singh informed PTI, “Upon seeing our leader Rahul Gandhi ji prominently displaying the leather-bound Constitution book, I placed an order for it through an online e-commerce portal. His presentation of the book sparked my curiosity, and I am eagerly anticipating its arrival.”

He continued, noting that not only has curiosity among party workers increased due to this display, but people’s confidence in the Constitution has also grown, leading to surprising electoral outcomes in Uttar Pradesh during the recently concluded general elections.

Ashish Tripathi, a tax lawyer based in Lucknow, expressed anticipation for the forthcoming edition of the pocket-sized Constitution, particularly following its frequent display by Rahul Gandhi during his campaign for INDIA bloc candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.