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World Sanskrit Conference: Allow Sanskrit to spread its wings like other global languages

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New Delhi: Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a programme organised on the culmination of Indio-Nepal Car Rally at India Gate in New Delhi, on March 8, 2015. (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)

By Gaurav Sharma

There was a time, when Sanskrit usage spanned the entire Indian subcontinent. At its zenith, the language of the Gods became the lingua franca of the Indian cultural zone.

Reminiscent of its mass expansion, the ancient medium of communication has now ebbed to its nadir.

Sanskrit in contemporary India

The last census of 2011 revealed a shocking reality with a pitiable 14,000 people stating Sanskrit as their primary language. Almost no speaker was to be found in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the north-eastern states.

Given that a miniscule 1 per cent of the entire Indian population speaks Sanskrit, it is commendable that Doordarshan has launched a weekly program in that language.

Telecasting a five-minute news bulletin–Varta–was hardly doing justice to a language which had mothered several hundred dialects during its heyday.

Can Sanskrit be bracketed into the Hindutva agenda?

The recent invitation of External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj as guest of honor at the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok is a significant reminder of the special place India and more specifically, Sanskrit holds in the academic circles of the world.

In spite of its deep scholarly appreciation, the language continues to be taught as an optional subject. This is mainly due to the increase in the relevance of other contemporary languages in the globalized world vis-a-vis Sanskrit.

To amplify its declining popularity, the language is given false religious connotations, viz Hindu credentials.

The liberal secularist of India keeps blowing the communal trumpet against measures to revitalize the glory of Sanskrit as a scientific dialect, a fact which can be corroborated by its astounding suitability as a computer language.

In this regard, it would be pertinent to note that apart from being serving liturgical purposes, Sanskrit was a philosophical language encompassing a rich mixture of poetry, drama and music.

Is Sanskrit literature only religious?

“People have a misunderstanding that it is the language of the Hindus. Ninety-five per cent of Sanskrit literature has nothing to do with religion”, says retired Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju.

katju

 

This is not to say that the language cannot be used to indoctrinate young minds.

But if re-introducing Sanskrit in the school curriculum is termed as Hindutva propaganda, isn’t flooding of English literature in our school textbooks a classic case of Anglicization?

In the end it is not a question of whether Sanskrit is a holy language worthy of reverence but rather about providing an equal opportunity for an ancient language to re-live itself.

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“If Jinnah is secular than Laden is the world’s best democrat”, Ahmar Mustikhan

The recent emotional reunion between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his wife and mother has garnered enough global attention.

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Ahmar Mustikhan has come in for full support of Kulbhushan Yadav and his family
Ahmar Mustikhan has come in for full support of Kulbhushan Yadav and his family

NEW DELHI: In a recent Facebook video, Ahmar Mustikhan has communicated his views on the recent meeting of Kulbhushan Yadav with his wife Chetna and mother Avanti. Mustikhan is a renowned writer, analyst, and veteran Baloch journalist. He is also the founder of a non-profit organisation known as ’American Friends of Balochistan’. Through this organization, Mustikhan expresses his views on atrocities of Pakistani army been hammered on Baloch people.

Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court. Wikileaks

Kulbhushan Yadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court. The recent emotional reunion between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his wife and mother has garnered enough global attention due to the mental torcher experienced by both the ladies at the Pakistani foreign office. The cold-shouldered response from Pakistan’s side was fiercely condemned by the Indian people and called it a violation of the human rights of the women. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj even called it a “propaganda weapon” used by Pakistan.

MustiKhan in his video referred Pakistan as “Chapal Chor Pakistan” (Slipper thief Pakistan) because Pakistan’s foreign office had confiscated the slippers of Kulbhushan’s wife on the pretext of security concern. The women were even asked to remove their mangalsutra, bindi, and bangles for the same reason. Later on, Pakistani media didn’t let any stone unturned by harassing both the women and calling them murderer’s wife and mother.

Also Read: Clerics help Pakistan pedophiles target minor Hindu, Christian girls

On this basis, Mustikhan viewed that a Hindu or an Indian can never get Justice from the hands of Pakistan. To support his views, he quoted a historic event of 1927 which is related to a Hindu Marwari merchant, Raj Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta. The merchant had built a very splendid mansion in the love of his ailing wife and named it ‘Mohatta Palace’ and was considered as the most beautiful residence of Karachi at that time. But Muhammad Ali Jinnah got his eyes on his house and forced him to vacate it. Soon, the house was taken over and turned into Pakistan’s first foreign office. After the capital was relocated to Islamabad from Karachi, the mansion was transferred to Jinnah’s sister, Fatima Jinnah. So, this was the case of the first foreign office of Pakistan, as stated by Ahmar Mustikhan.

According to MustiKhan, the Indian people who crib about Narendra Modi are directly supporting the views of Pakistani Generals and militants. These are the same army generals who have the blood of millions of innocent people on their hands.  When Modi was elected as the Prime Minister of India, some people called him as the “Butcher of Gujarat”. MustiKhan also denounces the view that Kulbhushan Yadav and Ajmal Kasab are similar offenders, as claimed by the Pakistani media. But he openly challenges the Pakistani government regarding any proof related to Yadav’s case, whereas Kasab’s heinous act was captured live on CCTV cameras. Here, MustiKhan openly exposes the double face strategy of Pakistan.

Also see: Ahmar Mustikhan views on Kulbhushan Yadav’s meeting with his mother and wife

MustiKhan even said, “If Jinnah is secular (as people says in Pakistan) than Laden is the best Democrat.” With his all these efforts, he is trying to make people aware of the war crimes against the people of Balochistan and has even requested the Indian people to support his cause of peace and harmony.