Experts bat for Sanskrit in schools

New Delhi : Even as the row over replacing German with Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalays partly resurfaced in far away in Berlin, educationists back home feel that it is very important to introduce Sanskrit at the school level to enable students have a better understanding of the subject.

“Sanskrit is an essential part of every Indian soul. Without the language, the society loses its identity. From Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Mahatma Gandhi, everyone was inspired by the language. The whole renaissance period was based on Sanskrit literature,” Professor Ramesh Bharadwaj, head of the Sanskrit department at Delhi University.

Educationists feel it is important to introduce Sanskrit at school level as it will enable students to have a better understanding of the subject

Historians, meanwhile, feel that successive governments have taken no initiatives to promote the language among the people.

“The central and state governments, which came to power after Independence, have not extended their support to the language. Our country is known for its culture, religion and philosophical ideas. One cannot treat religious sentiments and Sanskrit separately,” Bharadwaj added.

Recently, the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry’s internal enquiry into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Germany, making German the third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, has revealed that neither the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan (KVS) nor the ministry realised that the move was a violation of the three-language formula.

According to the three-language formula, schools are required to teach Hindi, English and a modern Indian language in schools. Sanskrit, however, is said to be a popular option in northern states.

“We want all Indian languages to be promoted because only five to six per cent of people in India understand English. Most of them, even today, work in their regional language. No other language can be understood if there is no proper understanding of Sanskrit,” the HoD of the Sanskrit department said.

Meanwhile, while on his tour to Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India’s secularism is not so weak that it could be shaken because of a language.

Experts feel that Modi’s statement is in accordance with the Indian Constitution. Though Modi did not elaborate on the issue, his comments are being seen in context with his government’s decision to replace German with Sanskrit in over 500 schools.

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