JORHAT, April 19 - The impact of the ongoing lockdown which will be 40 days or may be more has not only robbed off the Rongali Bihu celebrations of the Assamese society, but has also stalled the publication of the famous Barkataki Dewal Panjika (Assamese calendar), popularly known as the Barkataki calendar published by the Jorhat-based Barkataki Company, a renowned publishing house established in 1898.
It may be mentioned here that Assamese people across the State, especially in Upper Assam eagerly wait for the Barkataki Dewal Panjika which gets published on the eve of Bohag Bihu on the advent of Assamese New Year.
There is always a huge demand for the copies of the Barkataki calendar which is sold not only in bookstalls but also by newspaper hawkers and vendors at bus-stands and markets. Moreover, quite a number of copies of the calender have to be sent abroad for the NRI Assamese community via courier service.
Jayanta Sharma, managing director of Barkataki Company, told The Assam Tribune that since the past 91 years the Dewal Panjika has been published continuously without any delay.
He said that the process of publishing the panjika this time was under way when suddenly the lockdown, a first of its kind situation, was announced by the Government to tackle novel coronavirus threat, with all kind of regular activities coming to a halt.
Sharma said that once the complete lockdown was lifted and the situation gets better and Government grants relaxation then the publication house will bring out the Dewal Panjika.
He said that there were queries from a lot of people over phone and also on the social media regarding the publication of the panjika.
Sharma also said that the Sankhipta Dinapanji (Pocket Panjika), which the Barkataki Company has been publishing since about seven years back, too will be printed and will be released to the market after the lockdown was withdrawn.
He further said that the publishing house this time was undertaking an effort to make available the Dewal Panjika online for the convenience of Assamese NRI people as otherwise sending the hard copies through courier service becomes very expensive and also time-consuming.
The MD of the publication company stated that an App was being developed through which the panjika will be available after it is downloaded from Playstore.