Indians turn to online site to read ‘Charlie Hebdo’ magazine

By: |
New Delhi | January 21, 2015 7:23 PM

Keen to read the French weekly 'Charlie Hebdo,' locals here are turning to online sites like eBay to source copies of the satirical magazine...

Charlie hebdo, Charlie hebdo magazine, Charlie hebdo IndiaThe ‘Charlie Hebdo’ issue ‘No. 1178 14 January 2015’ is available on eBay starting from Rs 1,728.35 and continues upto Rs 4,095. (Reuters)

Keen to read the French weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo,’ locals here are turning to online sites like eBay to source copies of the satirical magazine, which are not available in India.

Interest in the publication peaked after the terror attack on the offices of Paris-based magazine killed 12 people, including four of its cartoonists on January 7.

A special “survivors” edition of the French tabloid, which was brought out last Wednesday, went “out of stock” within minutes of publication in France.

“The magazine came to my notice only after the killings. The social media is so active today that an incident in one continent can reach another in seconds. The attack on the magazine’s journalists was brutal,” says 24-year-old Delhi-based engineer Karishma Malhotra.

Malhotra says she plans to order the ‘survivors issue’ online through eBay for which she has to spend a little over Rs 1,700.

Charlie Hebdo, Charlie Hebdo cartoon, Charlie Hebdo attack, Charlie Hebdo cover, Charlie Hebdo magazine, prophet muhammadSatirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo columnist Patrick Pelloux (R) and cartoonist Luz show a copy of their next issue titled “Tout est pardonne” (“All is forgiven”) showing a caricature of Prophet Mohammad during a news conference at the French newspaper Liberation offices in Paris, January 13, 2015. (Reuters)

The ‘Charlie Hebdo’ issue ‘No. 1178 14 January 2015’ is available on eBay starting from Rs 1,728.35 and continues upto Rs 4,095.

Students in colleges and schools say they would also like to read the weekly.

“I read about the attack and the magazine editorial’s decision to come up with its new controversial edition, which was a matter of human interest,” says Delhi-based student Samiksha Sharma.

“I searched for it and inquired about the availability of the issues at prominent stands in the city but the shopkeepers refused. The weekly was never available in India. Authorities dealing with the distribution should take a note of it,” she says.

According to media reports, French press distribution company MLP said that the new Charlie Hebdo issue will be available in many countries that previously never received the weekly, including Australia u2014 where strong demand was reported u2014 and in India, where there are around 170 million Muslims.

Newsstand owners claim they have to refuse their customers everytime they are flooded with queries related to the magazine.

Ramesh Nayal, a newsstand manager at Kashmere Gate, says, “A lot of people here enquire about this ‘Charlie’ magazine. It is in news because of the killings. But we don’t distribute the issue in India because of the market demand.”

“We are willing to talk to the distributors and the higher authorities if it can be made available here as well,” he says.

However, there are others who say they feel distributing the magazine in India would not be the “right idea as it can hurt sentiments.”

“The attack showed how weak a country’s security systems can be. Distributing it further can invite more incidents like these,” says a Delhi-based journalist who did not want to be named.

The magazine had reportedly said that it would print over 1 million copies with an extra 2 million depending on the demand and each issue generally selling around 60,000 copies.

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