It is true that almost all households in Assam have English calendars, and like anywhere else in the world, people use them to check dates, weekends along with keeping a note of world and national holidays, but they don’t have much information about Assamese festivals which is why these households also own an Assamese calendar. These calendars are also often consulted prior to any important ceremony. If your home has one too, then it is most likely that the calendar was printed at Barkataky Company. Apart from publishing the all-important Assamese calendar, the company has also established itself as a pioneer publishing agency for indological books in Assam.
The Starting Phase
Biswajit Barkataky, the present CEO, is the great grandson of Gauri Prasad Barkataky who founded the company. ‘The company started during the British rule in Assam, towards the end of 19th Century. The practice of keeping a hard copy of facts and events along with knowledge sharing by scholars was not practiced in Assam back then. But such activities were an integral part of the Bengali people in Kolkata. Back then, there weren’t any kind of book stalls or books in the State. So, the idea of a book shop came from the idea of providing people with hard copies of facts or books that can spread knowledge amongst the Assamese community.’ The Barkataky publishing house unofficially started when his great grandfather brought books from Kolkata to sell in 1871. ‘From 1898, he started the full-fledged publishing house. Before that, it was just an attempt to see the response of the people. Mostly indological books were printed at the onset, and short story collections to some extent. As of now, the Barkataky Company has published countless books.’
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