Sanskrit – unsurprisingly is a language whose existence has been ignored, and faces a threat. Its significance has been underestimated . Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit? Of what use could it possibly be in this globalised age of informatics? Do we really want to be bogged down in the past when a brave, new world beckons? “Sanskrit toh sirf pooja path ke liye hota hai” , is that all?
This philistine and obtuse view that is now prevalent in the modern times; Sanskrit was the primary language of ancient Hindu culture and philosophical languages of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism which found its place in high culture of Asia in medieval times. It is a classical language whose texts encompasses diverse fields of study such as philosophy, science, literature, astronomy, morality & ethics. Perhaps one of the most important tasks the classics do is imbue a sense of community in children. One of the purposes of education in a state is to nurture citizenship. In a country as diffuse as India, Sanskrit remains one of the few things truly common to the overwhelming majority, if not all its people. Whatever differences Indians may have in their cuisine, language, or dress, they are all descendants of the same scholars, saints, and emperors.
The chapters contained in textbooks are passages taken from ancient sanskrit books which revolve around essential aspects such as: life, morality & philosophy. An early assimilation of such concepts might not have immediate results but finds its presence throughout lifetime.
The greatest pity of it all is that everyone talks about utility as early as primary and secondary education. School (pathshala) was meant to provide a child with a broad and liberal education which would enable him/her to tackle the world, not professionalise him at early formative years of his intellect.
Even if Sanskrit is useless, so what? How many newspaper editors in India use the calculus they learned in school at their jobs? Can any accountant define the photoelectric effect?
The thing about good education is that one never knows a remote lesson may suddenly provide a solution to the problem in present. Today, a wise man would stare at the world with contempt as he can discern the pace of corruption creeping into our society. Rapid increase in crimes, a constant state of threat, anxiety, widespread depression and suicides have gripped the present day youth. Who’s responsible? Where did we go wrong? The answer lies in the roots- the school education. Maybe, it’s time we should introduce Sanskrit in schools of Jammu and encourage students to study the language with fervour. After all, it’s our own.