I walked into the Landmark store at The Forum Mall in Bangalore and went over to the Books section. What hit me strongly was that there are more books in English and by western authors than books in Indian languages by Indian authors. This is the sad state of affiars. How did we land up in this situation?
Language is the key to literature which enshrines our cultural heritage and tradition. Only if you know Telugu can you access Telugu Literature. Only if you know Kannada can you access Kannada literature. Only if you know Samskrtam you can access texts such as Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, Ayurveda, Vedas and numerous such other invaluable resources of knowledge.
Our literature is locked up and we have lost the key of language to access it. This is very concerning. Its implications are very serious. Look at your own homes. At first we began speaking English and then slowly the language makes inroads into our way of living, eating, dressing and everything else. See the below video to understand more:
Once again, I ask as to how did all this come about? When I was reading a book on India by Sunil Khilnani I came across this document titled Minute on Education T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835.
As you read through the document, you will be flabbergasted. We have been cheated. The British left us decades ago, but we have not regained our lost prestige and superiority. We need to strive to regain the key.
Have’nt so many of us studied Sanskrit at school. What did they teach us at first. Grammar right ? We also learnt English at school and what do they first teach? Some vocabulary and then poems and stories. Why is it different ? Have you ever wondered ? Two langauages taught very differently in the same school.
We grow up to be able to both understand and communicate in one – English and in the other – Sanskrit – we only understand some bit and never succeed in communication. We remain handicapped. How sad, is it not ?
In the year, 2015, A committee headed by N Gopalaswami, 15th Chief Election Commissioner of India, submitted its report to the Govt of India. Read this to understand the issue in greater depth. Schools continue to teach Sanskrit by grammar translation method. This method is long abandoned and we continue to embrace it. This is what makes us so poor in learning an extremely structured and scientific language. Unfortunately, most students and parents opt for sanskrit to get better scores in board exams. Short Term win and life long defeat. How sad !
It is in this background and context that I would like to appreciate the efforts of few not-for-profit organisations that are making efforts to teach Sanskrit language in the way a langauge is to be taught, like the way a baby effortlessly learns its Mother Tongue.
I wish to share a few resources by which we can regain the lost key of Sanskrit language
- Sanskrit online courses by https://mitvedicsciences.edu.in/
- Sanskrit Distance learning by https://samskritabharati.in/correspondence
- Extensive online pre-recorded courses for beginners and advanced learners by https://www.sanskritfromhome.in/
Remember, language is the key to the treasure chest of knowledge, wisdom and culture.
We are a nation of 1.3 billion people, more than 19,500 mother tongues, 22 official langauages as per the constitutions and yet, the Landmark store has more of English books by Western authors than Indian books by Indian authors. Are they catering to the demand of the society or are they shaping the demand of the society?
Lets take charge of what we learn and what we can become by regaining the key of Sanskrit Language.
पठतु संस्कृतं | लिखतु संस्कृतं | ज्ञानं विज्ञानं प्रज्ञानं च प्राप्नोतु | आत्मसाक्षातकारं अनुभवतु | आत्मनो मोक्षार्थं जगत् हिताय च |