QRant: Ms Swaraj, Sanskrit Should Not be Our Priority
Okay, so it’s hard enough to understand what people write and say nowadays anyway. There’s sms language, which avoids vowels like the plague, but now it seems that words are on their way out completely. You can have entire conversations using emoticons.
Now you may think I am old school, but that ain’t nothin’ compared to the Indian government. Sushma Swaraj gave an entire speech in Sanskrit, at the world Sanskrit conference, talking about how Sanskrit “purifies” the mind and needs to be “propagated”. Apparently, the Ministry of External Affairs is going to have a Joint Secretary on Sanskrit now.
Is this really the best use of your time Ms Swaraj? Does Sanskrit also need help on “humanitarian grounds”?
In India, 48% of class V students can’t read a class II text in their mother tongue! Our priority should be ensuring kids get a decent basic education. And no, its not realistic or useful to make Sanskrit a priorty,
Do we really we expect kids to show up to a job interview and say bhavata saha melanam sukhkaram avatart (pleased to meet you) or meet a girl in a bar and go bhavatya: Durvhash sankhya ka? (Can I have your phone number?)
Time to get with the times. Or as Sushmaji would have us say — kaalaanoorupam vyavaharutu.
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.