The Motilal Mission

At Motilal Books we have made it our business to make Indian books more widely available to individuals and booksellers around the world. This is a very niche sector, so why have we done it?

Firstly, we are passionate about knowledge, India, and Indian culture. The country, its people and history fascinate us. India is the source of many of the world’s most influential religious and spiritual ideas, is home to breath-taking artistic and architectural visions and has a civilisation that stretches back to the dawn of agriculture.

Many of the ideas and concepts we take for granted in the West have their origin in India, whether directly or indirectly. In more recent times, India has had a huge impact on British culture. Not only is the UK now home to millions of people of Indian descent, but popular culture is hugely influenced by Indian cooking, music and cinema. The Indian publishing industry has a lot to say for itself as well, and we feel its voice needs to be better heard outside India on top of the traditional subjects.

Secondly, the Indian publishing industry is of enormous international importance, not least because the official language of publication is English. Indian books aren’t simply for Indian people living abroad – they cover a broad scope of topics that provide a source of knowledge for anyone who can read English.

Fiction, engineering, medical studies, narrative fiction and travel literature are all covered extensively by Indian authors. The problem is that until recently most of these books weren’t well known outside India itself.

Popularising Indian Publishing Around The World

For an outward looking, rapidly developing country of over 1 billion people, the Indian publishing industry is coming of age. India is home to thousands publishing companies: some home grown and others independent trading arms of Western household names, such as Harper Collins and Penguin. Some Indian publishers are huge, matching international publishers for output and diversity. Others are independent specialists releasing only a few imprints each year, and others are ashrams, Government departments, or self-publishing authors.

So our goal was – and remains – to popularise Indian publishing around the world. It surprised us the number of publishers we spoke to who never really promoted their products outside the Indian market.

We do this by acting as a wholesale partner to Indian publishers. We purchase books at source and liaise with partners through our team and distribution centre in New Delhi. Publications are then shipped to our warehouse and head office in the UK, as well as our USA base, from where we supply books to a variety of customers. These include:

  • Independent booksellers (including private sellers on Amazon and EBay)
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Public and private libraries
  • Specialist book distributors
  • Online through Amazon in the USA, UK and Australia

Encouraging Indian Authors & Publishers To Think Globally

Contemporary India is a self-confident culture with a global attitude to business, but Indian authors and publishers are less represented in the Western media than their Western counterparts on an equal footing. This isn’t through any lack of talent. Some of the best respected novelists of recent decades are Indian by birth, such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie and Aravind Adiga.

If Indian publishers cannot get foreign publishing contracts, we make their title a widely available as possible. Our goal is to provide our publishing partners with an outlet to the lucrative markets of the UK, USA, Australia and the rest of the world. This has the potential to create a virtuous cycle, with greater market exposure bringing the ability and capital to publish better known authors and encourage the next generation of Indian writing talent by giving them a world-wide audience. In 2017, we sold over 13,000 Indian books a month outside of India.

Explore The World Of Indian Books

With over 17,000 Indian titles in stock, added to each month, we are the world’s largest distributor of Indian publications outside India. To find out more, please download our free e-book: The Independent Book Sellers Guide To Books From India, or use our online stock checker to search by ISBN, publisher, author or book title. You can also search for any title or subject on Amazon.co.uk AND Amazon.com.

Now It’s Even Easier To Search For The Indian Books You Need Through Our Website

Our updated website makes it easy to search our entire stock catalogue for thousands of English language publications from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. To find a book, simply visit our stock checker page.

How To Use The Online Stock Checker

The page displays a spreadsheet of book titles organised by ISBN, author name, title, wholesale price and the quantity currently held in stock. Display settings can be adjusted to show anything from 10 to 200 titles per page, with 25 being the default. Click on any column to organise the titles by positive or reverse alphabetical/numerical order.

You will also see a search bar at the top of the page. Here you can search for specific titles using various keywords:

  • ISBN
  • Publisher
  • Title
  • Author
  • Keyword – e.g. part of a title or approximation, or a combination of author and title; such as ‘sourav century’

We increase our stock by up to 1000 titles each month, so the online stock checker is updated every 24 hours. In the top right hand corner of the page you will see when the stock was last updated.

Wholesale Orders

To place an order for your bookshop, online bookstore, library or distribution business, simply get in touch by email or phone. We offer attractive trade prices and rapid dispatch to anywhere in the world from our UK holding stock. If you require higher volumes than we currently hold please let us know and we will source additional copies from our 1000+ Indian publishing partners. Likewise, if you can’t find the title you need, let us know. We can access over 100,000 titles we have listed with Nielsen Book Data and order them for you on a short turnaround.

Individual Orders

Our website is set up for wholesale customers, rather than individuals. Individual readers can purchase our books through a retail partner or directly from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.au. We have over 10,000 titles in stock with Amazon, so if you see a book you like, head over to your regional Amazon website and browse for it there.

About Motilal Books

Motilal Books Of India is the world’s largest Indian book wholesaler and distributor. From our bases in the UK and India we distribute books to dozens of countries around the world. If you are seeking English-language Indian publications at competitive rates, or a reliable source of Indian language books, then we are the place to turn. Find out more by reading our free Independent Book Sellers Guide To Books From India.

 

Official Distributors For India’s Ministry of Broadcasting & Information

We are very proud to have been appointed as official international distributor for the Indian Ministry for Broadcasting & Information, Publications Division (Ministry of I&B). This is a sign of the business rapport we have built with Indian publishing companies over the years, and the positive reflection of Indian culture and society we are privileged to help facilitate by distributing quality books around the world. Long may it continue!

What Does The Ministry Of I&B Do?

The Ministry doesn’t have an exact equivalent in the UK. Its role is partly to regulate the exchange of information (including data protection) and intellectual property rights. It also regulates content and conduct standards in the printed media, radio, TV and film industry. In addition, the ministry coordinates written materials that explain the work of other government departments, and spreads awareness of Indian culture, arts and sciences at home – and now wish to extend that abroad. It is a large government department with a big remit.

You could think of it as a Ministry of Culture, Literature Academy and Board of Film Classification rolled into one, there to preserve and promote Indian culture.

As part of their international outreach programme, the Ministry has compiled a catalogue of books that reflect Indian culture and heritage. We are the official distributors for these titles in the UK and around the world. The catalogue is extremely varied; encompassing contemporary and classic fiction, books on Indian history and religion, historical source texts – including the nation’s legendary epics, poems and holy books – and books on food, art and architecture. Books are published in English and all major Indian languages.

All 500+ titles are now being made available worldwide on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Simply ask us if there’s something you can’t find.

Booksellers who are interested in stocking these titles should get in touch. We offer attractive wholesale rates and continual availability for our 200 bestselling titles – many of which appear in the catalogue.

The Motilal Book Import & Export World Map

If you’ve visited our main website recently you may have noticed the large world map on the top banner full of red and blue direction arrows. It isn’t a depiction of our latest holiday destinations (we wish!) What it does is show all the places we import from and sell to around the world. The thicker the line on the map, the larger proportion of our imports or sales come from or go to that destination.

We created this graphic for the London Book Fair this year and it was interesting to see how our global reach had grown over the past few years. Having started as an importer from India to the UK, we now sell to 22 countries on five continents!

Here is a quick summary of where our books come from, and where they go to…

Imports

  • India to UK: 43%
  • India to USA: 41%
  • India to Australia: 4%
  • Sri Lanka to UK: 4%
  • Nepal to UK: 3%
  • Pakistan to UK: 2%
  • USA to UK: 2%
  • Bangladesh to UK: <1%
  • Afghanistan to UK: <1%
  • Myanmar (Burma) to UK: <1%

Exports/Sales From UK

  • Sold in UK: 48%
  • USA: 39%
  • South Africa: 3%
  • Saudi Arabia: 2%
  • Lebanon: 1%
  • Germany: 1%
  • Netherlands: 1%
  • Ireland: 1%
  • United Arab Emirates: 1%
  • Hong Kong: 1%
  • New Zealand: 1%
  • France: <1%
  • Spain: <1%
  • Switzerland: <1%
  • Italy: <1%
  • Belgium: <1%
  • Norway: <1%
  • Sweden: <1%
  • Denmark: <1%
  • Turkey: <1%
  • Japan: <1%
  • Kuwait: <1%

Reading The Figures

When crunching the figures we found that although the majority of our imports come from India to the UK, where they are sold, an increasing volume of our imports go to the USA and Australia directly. In terms of sales, while the volumes sent to countries like Japan, Spain and Hong Kong are currently small, some of our international markets, notably South Africa and Saudi Arabia, are growing rapidly. Orders from the UK to the USA are also picking up momentum, which is a very positive sign for ourselves and the Indian publishing industry we serve.

To find out more or to stock our books yourself, please call (+44) (0)1727 761677 or contact us online.

You can find over 35,000 titles on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, or they can be ordered from your local bookshop, library or online bookseller.

Remembering 70 Years Of Partition: 5 Indian History Books To Learn More

There was not a family in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh who was unaffected by the partition of 1947 – an event which passed its 70th anniversary in August 2017. Coming as it did after the euphoria of independence and the struggles of many men and women in the 1930s and 40s, partition was a bitter blow to widespread dreams of unity and has left a mixed legacy. 70 years on, many people still living remember the tumultuous times following partition, when India was plunged into near Civil War. This year, we have celebrated the positive aspects of independence for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, alongside other postcolonial countries. Partition holds lessons from history that should never be forgotten, but from the perspective of 2017, we feel there is cause for optimism about how each of these countries has charted a unique course under challenging economic and political conditions.

There has been a surge of interest in partition and independence this year. The following are five books we feel every retailer should hold to give readers a balanced and in-depth view of the events and their aftermath.

1) From Plassey To Partition, by P Bandyopadhyay

ISBN: 9788125025962 | Paperback | £19.99

Partition is impossible to understand without an objective overview of the colonial period and the events that led up to it. Contrary to popular perception, the British Raj was not a monolithic colonial administration. Instead, it was a patchwork of principalities, traditional states and directly governed regions that evolved over time. Some parts of India were never under direct British colonial rule, but were instead governed by hereditary princes who acted as vassal governments to the British. Even the directly governed parts of India were never originally British government colonies. They were private territories governed by the British East India Company, which only later fell under direct rule. From Plassey to Partition is an accessible, easy to read history of modern India from an Indian perspective. It provides a nuanced view of colonial India and the growing voices of independence, with a colourful cast of heroes, villains and opportunists on each side.

2) Jinnah: India, Partition & Independence by Jaswant Singh

ISBN: 9788129113788 |Hardback | £14.99

No history of the partition is complete without a close examination of the life of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Many histories of modern India published in the West focus mainly on the roles played by Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru in bringing about Indian independence. While their role should not be downplayed, Jinnah remains a forgotten giant in the events preceding and following partition. Jinnah – a devout Muslim, was initially a proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity under a secular state, but became disillusioned by sectarian strife between the two sides, which he saw as undermining the moral integrity of the independence struggle.

He came round to the belief that only a separate Muslim state – which was to become Pakistan – would guarantee peace and mutual harmony between the two factions. He therefore played a key role in engineering partition, becoming an influential Pakistani politician. Jinnah has been demonised by some writers as a politician who sabotaged unity for sectarian ends, but this is not how Jinnah himself saw it.

This excellent biography brings much-needed balance and clarity to a complex political time, where principled men (as well as opportunists) on both sides had to make difficult, snap decisions. Jinnah was horrified by the political violence following independence and sought the best, most pragmatic solution. He was haunted by his decisions and may in hindsight have made mistakes, but was ultimately just another flawed individual travelling blind through events that no one could have predicted before they happened.

3) Bearing Witness: Partition, Independence, The End Of The Raj by Kamra Sukeshi

ISBN: 9788174362865 |Hardback | £7.66

August 14th, 1947 marked the end of colonialism in regions now known as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Never in history had India stood as a united, political nation state, with so many opportunities and dreams for the future. Sadly, this unity was not to last. After several months of chaos and violence, the partition of the former British Raj into Pakistan, India and Bangladesh was complete. Bearing Witness recreates this historic moment from the perspective of the men and women who lived through it. Unlike many books about partition, which mainly focus on India, the primary focus of Bearing Witness is Pakistan. The author draws on a wide range of personal testimonials, political speeches and early literary treatments of partition from Pakistani sources, giving a unique view of August 1947 and its immediate aftermath.

4) Map Making: Partition Stories From Two Bengals, by Debajani Sengupta & Ashis Nandy

ISBN: 9788188575008 | Paperback, £1.00

A Martian anthropologist visiting the Indian state of West Bengal and the nation of Bangladesh will note a common language, shared culture and heritage. Indeed, for hundreds, if not thousands of years, Bengal was a single cultural and political entity. However, since 1947 the two Bengals have been politically divided, and have incrementally been growing apart economically and politically. Mapmaking explores the impact of partition on ordinary families from the two parts of Bengal, giving a balanced view from Indian and Bangladeshi contributions. The 12 narratives in this book are at times haunting, at times tragic, and are frequently imbued with stoic determination and ironic humour. It is interesting to see the different experiences of branches of the families divided by history, and how individuals responded to different cultural environments, economic challenges and opportunities for development.

5) Divided Legacy: The Partition In Selected Novels Of India, Pakistan & Bangladesh, by Zaman Niaz

ISBN: 9789840514717 |Hardback |£17.99

Divided Legacy explores how partition has been recreated and examined through the lens of historical fiction. Dozens of books are reviewed here, with analysis given to how the events of each novel reflect a different aspect of the human experience of partition. Some famous partition novels, such as Train To Pakistan, are brutal stories of loss and separation which have themselves become literary landmarks in modern Indian publishing. Divided Legacy traces how depictions of partition in literature have changed since the 1940s, with progressive healing moving the focus away from raw tragedy and into human drama. Modern Indian authors such as Salman Rushdie (in Midnight’s Children) and Anita Desai (Clear Light of Day) can use partition as an historical backdrop to complex personal dramas in a way that wasn’t possible for earlier authors due to the raw pain of the partition events.

The Most Extensive Collection Of Indian History Titles

Partition and its aftermath is still etched deeply in the Indian consciousness. The impact is strongly felt in Indian literature, with thousands of general interest and academic history books covering the topic, as well as many powerful historical novels.

Our stock catalogue at Motilal Books includes hundreds of high quality Indian history books written in the English language. These cover the oldest written records on the planet, India’s ancient history, The Greek and the Persian invasions, and the various European colonial periods, independence struggle, partition, the emergence of modern India and many other topics. Indian and European authors lend an authentic voice to the historical scholarship of the period, which you can access at competitive prices.

To find out more about sourcing the best Indian books for retail in the UK, download a free copy of our Independent Booksellers Guide To Books From India by clicking here.

Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism, by Peter Masefield

Sri Lanka Institute Of Traditional Studies | ISBN: 9789559028024 | £9.99 paperback

Peter Masefield’s classic text on the concept of Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism, first published in 1986, is sold in library editions for £90 as a hardcover, and £96 for the Kindle edition! The Sri Lanka Institute Of Traditional Studies are to be congratulated for bringing out an accessible paperback of this valuable title to the market for the general reader, at less than £10. The new edition includes the complete original text, along with copious endnotes, biography and author’s foreword.

 

 

Title – Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism

Author – Peter Masefield

ISBN – 9789559028024

Price – £5.46

 

 

 

 

Contemporary & Traditional Views of Buddhism

Masefield’s proposition is contentious in some Buddhist circles, especially in the West. The predominant Western view of Buddhism is of a secular philosophy of self-endeavour: a natural rather than revealed religion, whose followers extract knowledge through a process of self-initiation, rather than external teaching. This idea fits in well with Western cultural values, and is encouraged by secular Buddhist thinkers such as Stephen Batchelor.

Unfortunately, at least according to Peter Masefield, this is not how Buddhism is understood by the majority of its practitioners in Asia, either historically or in the present. Nor, he goes on to say, is it an accurate reflection of the teachings contained in the earliest Buddhist texts – the Pali Canon.

In a detailed and lucid analysis, Masefield shines a light on the concept of religious initiation in the Discourses of the Buddha, or Nikayas. What he reveals is a religion that views salvation as heavily dependent on grace imparted by the Buddha himself – i.e. a classic revealed religion, rather than one of self-discovery.

Some Buddhist critics of this work disagree with the analysis, pointing out that Masefield draws too close an analogy with Christian doctrines of salvation, painting a picture of early Buddhism that isn’t supported by its cultural context. Whether or not the reader agrees with Masefield’s thesis is up for debate. We urge anyone who is interested in the argument to purchase a copy and see for themselves! What can’t be doubted is the care and attention to detail – and also the obvious love – that Peter Masefield pours into his topic.

Divine Revelation is one of the standout works on contemporary and historical Buddhism, and we are proud to be able to offer it at such a low price. The book will appeal to practising Buddhists of Western or Eastern descent, as well as students, anthropologists or general readers interested in comparative religions or religious history.

The World’s Largest Stock Of Indian Buddhist Titles In English 

Divine Revelation is one of more than 16,000 books on a wide variety of topics that we hold in stock at our warehouse in the UK. These include hundreds of titles relevant to Buddhism, Yoga, Hinduism and other Indian spiritual traditions. With topics ranging from introductory guides, to translated holy texts and advanced commentaries by leading figures in each tradition, our catalogue offers your readers the widest selection of Indian titles to be found outside of India. Access these titles and more by placing an order with Motilal Books. We offer fast delivery, friendly customer service and low prices on all titles. Call us on 01727 761 677 to find out more. 

God Man To Tycoon: ——-Banned In India !!!

Available Internationally Through Motilal Books!

by Priyanka Pathak-Narain | £13.99 paperback | ISBN: 9789386228383 | Juggernaut

God Man To Tycoon: The Untold Story Of Baba Ramdev, by Priyanka Pathak-Marain is one of the most controversial biographical books to come out of India this year – and it’s selling like hot cakes. Everywhere, that is, except India itself, where it was banned in August this year by the courts.

 

 

Title – Godman To Tycoon; The Untold Story Of Baba Ramdev

Author – Priyanka Pathak-Narain

ISBN – 9789386228383

Price – £11.00

 

 

 

 

An appeal on the basis of free speech is under way currently……….. More on that later…

For now, let’s discuss what the fuss is all about. Who is Baba Ramdev and why does he stir up such strong feelings? To understand this it is worth explaining the cultural significance of gurus and spiritual teachers in Indian culture. Despite widespread secularisation, and perhaps in reaction to it, many yoga teachers and spiritual figures enjoy huge popularity and attract tens of thousands of devoted followers. This draws on the tradition where the custom is to learn about the meaning of life from the family guru, and the ancient Sanskrit literatures which still play an important role in a person’s life. Radio, TV and social media have encouraged the spread of this tradition by guru’s and religious preachers, with some figures becoming hugely famous within India and beyond, such as baba ramdev.

Saints & Sinners

These popular gurus are without exception larger-than-life characters. Many are genuinely spiritual and committed to their disciples, while others seem to use their position for personal gain. The acts of Indian gurus have always attracted attention, some looking to be provocative and eccentric – this is seen to be part of the teaching – so the borderline between egotistic self-aggrandisement and exemplary behaviour is often blurred.

Some gurus have become extremely wealthy men, paralleling the rise of TV evangelists in the United States. Baba Ramdev is one of the most charismatic and notorious of the contemporary celebrity gurus. Apparently his outgoing, vivacious personality covers up a dark closet of personal secrets, including the grisly deaths of close disciples, false miracles and alleged financial misconduct.

God Man To Tycoon is a fast paced, entertaining read that at times seems too strange to be true. Could someone write this character if it were fiction? Get hold of a copy of this enjoyable and controversial book to find out.

Why Is God Man To Tycoon banned?

On hearing of the publication of God Man To Tycoon, an unauthorised biography, Baba Ramdev was none too pleased. In fact, he was so enraged that he sought and achieved an injunction from a court in Delhi restraining its sale within India. India is a country that has always valued freedom of speech, so we can only hope this judgement is quickly overturned. In the meantime, however, order your copies through Motilal book and READ FOR YOURSELF what the fuss is all about! It is expected a re-printing with the offending parts removed will be available in the future, but get your uncensored copy while stocks last!

Thousands Of (Controversial) Indian Books At Your Fingertips

God Man To Tycoon is one of over 16,000 titles we keep in stock at our warehouse here in the UK, with another 700 –2,000 new Indian titles released each month.

Our titles include the latest English-language releases from more than 750 Indian publishers, all available at competitive prices through independent booksellers.

Some are considered highly controversial, others not so! You can select from every genre imaginable, from crime thrillers, to romantic comedies, historical fiction, Bollywood biographies, engineering studies, rare tantric sutras, yoga handbooks, children’s books and academic textbooks. Find out more about the benefits of stocking Indian books in our free e-book: The Independent Bookseller’s Guide To Books From India. Click here  to claim your copy today.