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Teach Sanskrit in schools, make English optional, says RSS-linked body

Samskrita Bharati, founded by RSS members in the 1980s, wants this change included in the New Education Policy.

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New Delhi: English should be made optional and Sanskrit taught in schools as part of the three-language formula, Samskrita Bharati, an organisation associated with the RSS, has said in a request to the Modi government. 

The Samskrita Bharati, founded by RSS members in the 1980s for promotion of the ancient language, wants this change included in the New Education Policy, whose draft version is currently being vetted by the government. 

The appeal came at an event Monday where Samskrita Bharati felicitated MPs of the 17th Lok Sabha who took their oath of office in Sanskrit. Altogether, 47 MPs including Union ministers Pratap Sarangi, a debutant, Harsh Vardhan, and Meenakshi Lekhi took the oath in Sanskrit.

“Sanskrit should be made a part of the three-language formula along with Hindi and any other language, which could be a mother tongue or regional language,” said Dinesh Kamat, the all-India head of Samskrita Bharati, at the event. 

“This is an appeal I want to make to the government as a suggestion for the New Education Policy. English should be made optional but it should be available to everyone who wants to study the language,” Kamat added. 

Speaking Sanskrit, he said, will help people connect with their roots. 

Vardhan, Sarangi and Lekhi were among the MPs in attendance at the event, where most speakers made addresses in Sanskrit and stressed the importance of promoting it as a language of the masses. 

While Sarangi offered a fluent discourse on the various qualities of the language, Vardhan had to refer to a written speech, but spoke with some difficulty all the same. 

“Sanskrit is the language for science, mathematics, and environment,” he said, “If it is used more often by India, we will become a world leader.” 

Sarangi called Sanskrit the “most scientific language”, from which several foreign languages derived words, also offering up a few examples. 

A plan for all MPs

Members of Samskrita Bharati said at the event that the idea behind felicitating the MPs was to send a message to the public about the mass appeal of Sanskrit. 

The organisation now wants other MPs to learn the language, and says it has approached Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla with an offer to organise a 10-day Sanskrit workshop, for two hours each day, at Parliament House. 

“We ran a workshop inside Parliament in 1981, which was attended by leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Lal Krishna Advani,” Kamat said, “We want to run a similar workshop again to teach Sanskrit to all the MPs.” 

The language, whose appeal has dwindled among the masses, has received a push under the Modi government. Just a few days after Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ took office, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry began work on a plan to develop Sanskrit-speaking villages in India, two of them near Delhi.  


Also read: Crowdfunding helps one of India’s last Sanskrit schools collect Rs 26 lakh and survive


 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. RR ur points are right. But did u seen other developed countries are teaching each subject in there local language.
    They are translating all the books into there native language. Isn’t its fast to learn in mother tough or in English.
    Compulsion from over side. Even good translator is there to translate from many to many language.

    We should come out from English Phobiya (Slave Mentality) .

    Prasia is the language times of Mughal.
    changed to English language under English.

    But we are fearful about moving towards Sanskrit . (Mother language for all Indo-European language – (Even English)) !!!!

  2. Mischievous and deliberate headline, equating Sanskrit with RSS ! This way Print tries to create divisions and stop spread of Sanskrit! Sanskrit has nothing to do with RSS! It’s the root of all indic languages. Its our culture. Its in this language that vast sea of our ancient knowledge, wisdom is stored ! We should promote Sanskrit, devoid of our religious/caste orientation, so that we can un-lock this treasure trove of ancient wisdom for the benefit of everyone.

  3. sanskrit is the soul of india which should be taught in india voluntartly not to make it compulsry. withot english languague you canot move forward in internationl world and also in in india. in germany previously no importance has given to english languague but know english has become compulsry subject in schools, if govt wants india should move backword than they can make english as a optional subject,

  4. As long as India’s Constitution and Laws remain written in English and Supreme Court’s language remain English, making English optional wont make any difference in the choice of people for the need to study English. The first focus of RSS should not be making English optional but remove English from India’s nervous system controlled by the dominance of English in the governance of India.

    As we have recently seen that Congress is finding difficult to survive without being controlled by the Nehru Indira family, India also feels the same way if English in taken out from controlling India’s nervous system. Such changes can’t be done democratically. British rule has forced English on India. Before that Islam had forced Persian script on India. After freedom in 1947 India was made one with the use of force. You may hate sword but all the permanent changes in the world have been initiated with force.

  5. If the purpose is to revive Sanskrit and resurrect the “Sanskrit cosmopolis” (Sheldon Pollock cited in Incranations by Sunil Khilnani (2016: 30)), then the Government should set up a university dedicated to Sanskrit, where offers the opportunity to research the spectrum of episteme related to this great knowledge, be it Rig Veda, Aryabhatiya or Arthashastra. This university could also compete in stature with the best in the world that offer Sanskrit courses and be an experiment in offering specialised education to foreign students, with the two-pronged aim of driving high quality research and earning foreign exchange.

    It is good to be bilingual, and since English is the language of commerce world-wide, it should have a compulsory status along with a regional language. After all it may not be easy to teach physics, biology, chemistry, and economics in a native language, given the fact that there is a huge amount of literature on this subject that is only available in English.

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