Insult of the wonder language
Modern day mandarins scoff at Sanskrit even as they promote Persian, Urdu and Arabic

By Dr. Indulata Das
Now let us come to some comments made on Sanskrit in a Sanskrit University by none other than the Chancellor of the same University. In the near past Shri T. V. Rajeswar, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh who is the Chancellor of the Sampurnananda Sanskrit University on the occasion of the convocation of the University said ‘Sanskrit is the language of the bullock cart age. If you read Sanskrit you will get services in temples as priests.

“Sanskrit is the greatest language of the world” said Max Muller. Sri Aurobindo said, “Sanskrit language, as has been universally recognised by those competent to form a judgment, is one of the most magnificent literary instrument developed by the human mind”.

These are only a few mentions of the innumerable glories of the wonder language Sanskrit sung by people throughout the world and through the ages. It is difficult to recite all the praises of Sanskrit that people in India and abroad have sung. Because of the great height of Sanskrit, people generally desist from making a comparison of Sanskrit with any other language whether Indian or alien. But whenever there is a comparison, Sanskrit is always placed at an exceptionally high place in comparison to other languages. For example, Prof. Boop, a great scholar, making a comparison of Sanskrit with Greek and Latin said: “It (Sanskrit) is more perfect and copious than Greek and Latin”. Sir William Jones while referring to the perfection of Sanskrit said: “We (Europeans) are still behind in making even our alphabet a perfect one”.

Now let us come to some comments made on Sanskrit in a Sanskrit University by none other than the Chancellor of the same University. In the near past Shri T. V. Rajeswar, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh who is the Chancellor of the Sampurnananda Sanskrit University on the occasion of the convocation of the University said ‘Sanskrit is the language of the bullock cart age. If you read Sanskrit you will get services in temples as priests. You will never get a salary of two-three lakh Rupees per annum. You shall not be able to visit foreign countries if you read Sanskrit. There is not a single University in the world exclusively meant for languages similar to Sanskrit like Greek or Latin. But there are ten Universities for Sanskrit (as if it is something very deplorable and unfortunate that there are so many Universities for Sanskrit)’.

Yes, it is a small portion of the speech that the Chancellor of Sampurnananda University delivered, that too during the convocation. The comments created widespread resentment among students and Sanskrit lovers.

It is true that Sanskrit is a language which was there when bullock cart was the only mode of transport. It may go much beyond that age and may be traced back to a period when there was no mode of transport at all and people used to negotiate lengthiest distances with the help of their feet only. But it is a matter not of shame but of great pride that we had, even during that ancient time the most developed language of the globe which is considered to be ‘the best language of the world’ even today.

Everything does not turn outdated with the passage of time. The sun has not become old. The moon has not developed ageing deformities with the rolling of time. The stars have not been dilapidated. There are eternal human values which are considered ideal in every age. These are not getting outdated.

One of such ageless grandeurs is Sanskrit, the great wonder of the world. Till date, no language in the world has emerged as a match to Sanskrit.

It is no small wonder that the language which was used before thousands of years is being used today in the same way. There is no change in the structure or in the style of Sanskrit language and hence the old literature of ancient India can be understood and learnt without the slightest difficulty. The language of Ramayana and Mahabharata has not grown old or become outdated. Anybody with the rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit can go through the great epics with the minimum possible efforts. The languages which are much much younger to Sanskrit have undergone so many changes that their original form has been lost in oblivion. The credit of this maintenance of Sanskrit’s eternal beauty through the ages goes to the great intellectual giant Panini.

The grand grammar of Panini is the unending source of rejuvenation for the great language. Having been stabilised by the grammar of Panini the language is capable of sustaining the attack of time and is always up-to-date in nature. Not only this, the whole world admits that Sanskrit is the most scientific language among all the languages known so far. It has been found to be the most suitable language for the computer because of its scientific nature. As a result, now students even in the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of America are being taught about the structure of Sanskrit because of its fitness in the computer.

Sanskrit is not an unused language either. In India, there are at least five thousand families where Sanskrit is the only medium of expression. There are villages in which Sanskrit is spoken en-mass. There are more than sixty registered and unregistered magazines and journals brought out in Sanskrit. Literature in Sanskrit is being created continuously. Sanskrit is taught in at least forty countries and in two hundred fifty Universities. Sanskrit is enlisted as one of the modern Indian languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Now Yoga has become famous throughout the world. All the treatises on Yoga are written in Sanskrit. One can imagine how important and unavoidable Sanskrit has become because of its necessity for Yoga. Ayurveda is gaining more and more popular especially among the elite both inside India and abroad. All the authentic books on Ayurveda are composed in Sanskrit only. Learning of Ayurveda is handicapped without the knowledge of Sanskrit. Without the knowledge of Sanskrit, it is not possible to have a clear and complete knowledge of Indian Philosophy too. Knowledge of Indian history is not comprehensive without the knowledge of Sanskrit. It was said aright by Fakiruddin Ali Ahmed- “It (Sanskrit) is the language of every Indian”. And Mahatma Gandhi also was appropriate in saying -“Without the study of Sanskrit one can not become a true Indian and a truly learned man”.

One wonders how the Chancellor of Sampurnananda Sanskrit University is unaware of all these facts! Moreover, the Chancellor does not know that there is a provision in the same University to learn English along with Sanskrit. Not only English, but there are also many modern subjects in the syllabus. For example, there are Science, Linguistics, Political Science, Economics, Hindi etc. in the syllabus of the University. There are Diploma courses in Library Science, Music, German, French, Tibetan, and Chinese etc. Perhaps he does not have a complete idea about the University of which he is the Chancellor. However, his comment on Sanskrit is painful for the lovers of Sanskrit language and Indian culture.

Sanskrit is the pride of India. The literature stored in Sanskrit is a vast treasure not only of India but also of the whole world. May a time come when we understand our own worth and respect our own invaluable treasure!

(The writer can be contacted at Qr. No. 5R, 9, Forest Park, Unit-1, Bhubaneswar.)

Insult of the wonder language, Sanskrit: Indulata Das