By Harshmeet Singh
The sacred language, the mother of all Indian languages, the most complete language, the most scientific language, and lots more. There is no dearth of phrases to define the Sanskrit language. Though no one doubted its holistic nature, the number of native speakers of the language has been on a constant decline for the past several decades.
Albeit a number of measures have been taken in the past to revive the language, most of them have failed to bring in any change. However, the year 2015 saw a number of encouraging happenings that point towards a possible revival of the holy language in the times to come. NewsGram brings forth the five stories of 2015 that indicate a better future for the language in the times to come.
- Sanskrit finding many takers in German Universities (April 2015)
A total of 14 German Universities offer Sanskrit courses at present. Most of them were on the verge of shutting down these courses a decade ago since they couldn’t find any takers. But a recent interest in the language has meant that these Universities are now finding it hard to fulfill the demand of Sanskrit learners.
Interestingly, it is not just the German students who are taking up these courses. These universities have inducted students from over 30 countries from across the world.
2. 250 Sanskrit scholars from India participate in the World Sanskrit Conference in Thailand (June 2015)
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj accompanied 250 Indian scholars to take part in the World Sanskrit Conference. Mrs. Swaraj was the guest of honor at the event and delivered a stunning speech in Sanskrit, setting the tone for the Conference.
Though this event has been a regular affair after its initial edition in 1972 in Delhi, it was the first time that India took this event seriously. India also presented a couple of plays at the opening and closing ceremonies of the event.
3. Weekly news programme in Sanskrit on Doordarshan (June 2015)
Starting 28th June, the day when the World Sanskrit Conference began, Doordarshan launched a half an hour weekly Sanskrit-news programme. The channel was already airing a five-minute Sanskrit-news bulletin called ‘Varta’. Accepting that 5 minutes aren’t enough, the 30 minutes program was launched.
4. Panel set up for the promotion of Sanskrit (Nov 2015)
In November, the HRD ministry appointed a 13-member committee to come up with ways to revive people’s interest in Sanskrit. The committee is headed by N Gopalaswami, the former chief election commissioner and the present chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth.
The committee has been directed to suggest ways to integrate the language with other disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics and Law. It also needs to put together an action plan for the next decade to ensure the development of the language.
- ‘Paschim Banga Sanskrito Vidyalaya’ all set to come into being in 2016 (Dec 2015)
Kolkata’s Sanskrit college, which came into being in 1824, is one of Asia’s oldest educational institutes. In 1851, under the principalship of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the college took a major leap when it admitted students from non-Brahmin castes as well.
The West Bengal government has now decided to revive the ‘almost irrelevant’ College and turn it into a University. A bill regarding this was recently passed in the state assembly. The University will also focus on Prakrit, Pali philosophy, linguistics, world history and ancient history.
Such measures have ensured that Sanskrit ends the year 2015 on a much better note than it had entered 2015. The year 2016 may very well be the year when the language takes that one giant leap that it needs to regain its lost glory.