Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The fate of Sanskrit in current India

Sanskrit is the mother of many languages of the world.Making people pen from as old as BC 2000, it is attributed a very classic status in ancient,medieval and modern India as well.However,analogous to Latin in the west,it has already suffered a kind of avoidance and many people stopped their general communication as well as literary works in Sanskrit today.While it used to be a language of all classes,the intellectual and less intellectual in olden days,now it just finds place in classic Hindu rituals and ceremonies.
However,this is not at all the first fall of Sanskrit in India.There are evidences that the rise of Pali and other languages in the past was to decrease the ill consequences of the Vedic system in ancient India.From then a notion that Sanskrit is difficult to speak and write began to develop and it reached its full peaks in the late medieval time when Mughals became powerful in the country and all the later stage developments.The rise of importance of all the regional languages also contributed.
The fate of Sanskrit in current India is an 'outside conditioned,inside useless' type one.Now,many school and pre-university college boards offer Sanskrit as a mandatory cum optional second language.Even when mandatory,it is treated a purely mugging type of subject and its learning is very often mechanical,let alone when optional.Even if students prefer it as an optional,they do it just for the wholesome downpour of marks in the public exams,where the beauty of the handwriting and not at all the proficiency in the language form the essence of evaluation most of the times.The lack of well versed faculty is also a reason for this.
Now coming to mass media,no heavy ventures are there till now except for a one paged 'सुधर्मा'daily from Mysore,a news bulletin in All India Radio once a day,and some TV programs on government channels.Though some voluntary organisations offer Sanskrit tutorials and strive for its spread in the Internet,it is not a much accessible way to the general public,especially,the rural people.
Even the lack of basic amenities and comforts in remote rural places contributes to the decreased pace in Sanskrit upliftment.How can one dare to learn and understand a language not required to them,when there are adverse living situations?
On the contrary there are still a few groups, big and small that communicate mostly in Sanskrit to this date.Examples are Mattur village of Karnataka,Jhiri,Mohad and Baghuwar villages of Madhya pradesh.In these villages,one is greeted by an affectionate,''हरि ॐ |कथं अस्ति?'' and so on.Of course,these people prove to be the children of a lovely mother who resides on all of their tongues.By adopting Sanskrit,the 'अमर वाणी' ,these common people will themselves feel proud.
Even very big deemed language universities especially dealing with Sanskrit,though offering courses of all durations,short and long,offer them with a decreased frequency,and I request them to increase their course frequency.
Also,I personally request those individuals who have an ample time after all their daily activities and planning to engage themselves in any hobby or extra activity,to think of taking the privilege of learning Sanskrit,the voice of the eternal.
I,thus provide a few links to some of the trustworthy instituitions' websites which may provide useful.
I would be very happy to know if even a single individual enters into the field of sanskrit development through any means and most favourably by learning.
Finally I conclude with a saying in Sanskrit itself,
संस्कृतिः  संस्कृताश्रया |
This means "culture(संस्कृतिः) lies in(आश्रयाः) Sanskrit(संस्कृतं).