Viswa Bharati authorities are universally commended for jealously safeguarding the high quality and purity of Tagore's literature and music over the years. However, they did little to popularise the universal poet's message among the masses. The stodgy books produced by VB, with their bland cream-coloured covers year after year, made no concession to constantly evolving cover designs the world over. The young regard them as prescribed texts, urbanites dutifully stack them in book shelves, while rural folk ignore them. The prices of VB-produced books ranged from Rs 75 to Rs 300 (standard fare) and more for collected works.
This is where hoards of other publishers have stepped in, to help carry Tagore's message to the literate poor. One publisher has put together a Rs 20 lakh fund and will sell Galpaguchchha (short stories) at Rs 100, Gitabitan (songs) for Rs 90, Sanchayita (poems) for Rs 80, novels (in two volumes) for Rs 100 and Gitanjali for Rs 25 only! Another has invested Rs 3 lakh and will reproduce Sanchayita, Gitabitan, Galpaguchchha and Vigyanchinta (science-related essays). Punashcha has released six titles commercially and plans to bring out more.