Saturday editions of Mint are always special. Today’s article “Back to the future” caught my eye which mentioned Indic fonts (Indian language fonts). Even though I do read several newspapers (online/offline) I somehow missed the news in September about The Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI). The MCLI project was set up in 2010 with a gift of $5.2 million (approximately Rs. 25.5 crore now) from NRN’s son Rohan Murty. MCIL will release its first set of six Indian classics translated into English in 2013.
MCLI is in the process of translating several classics from various Indian language to English. This will not only benefit those who are abroad but I think many in India too would want to be at least “familiar” with classics from other languages. The website of MCLI lists an impressive list of experts on the Editorial Board and Advisory Board. Just two of them are based in India which may indicate our classics are read more outside India than in India.
These translated classics will be available on mobile devices, iPad and ofcourse desktops. The biggest challenge is to find good translators to translate them into English.
Murty Indic Fonts
The article talks (but not the official website as of today) creating new Indian language/Indic fonts and will be named after Narayana Murthy – Murty Indic fonts. One needs to note that while his last name is “Murthy”, the font will spell it as “Murty” (as in “Sudha Murty”).
Various governments in India have failed miserably in propagating Indic fonts. To put it mildly every government is clueless about Indian languages in digital space.
In the first meeting of IAMAI Working Group of languages one of the main issues talked about was Indic fonts. Print media complained about standard fonts not being available across media (i.e. print and digital). Converting fonts that are used for print to digital did not give satisfactory results (print media is a lot more conscious about such issues).
Indian languages is bound to become big in the digital space. Our company Oneindia.in is based on this very premise.
Now that releasing of postal stamps is of the past, Murty Indic fonts will make him immortal in the digital space.