At a time when the current Central government is propagating Sanskrit as its core agenda, the ancient language remains unavailable in Navodaya Vidyalayas due to which students in Rajasthan are learning other regional languages like Marathi, Gujarati, etc., in these schools, even though many of them are eager to learn Sanskrit.
In fact, Sanskrit language has not found any space even in the recently announced openings for recruiting teachers in regional languages in these esteemed schools being run under the Central government’s Ministry of Education, which has left the Sanskrit scholars annoyed.
While there are openings for teachers for languages like Bodo, Assamese, Garo, Khasi, Kannada, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali, Odiya, Punjabi, Tamil Telugu, Urdu etc besides Hindi and English, Sanskrit is yet to find its place in this list which proves that there are no immediate plans of the Central government to bring in Sanskrit language in these schools, officials told IANS.
Kosalendra Das, Assistant Professor, Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University, Jaipur, said, “Sanskrit forms the foundation of all Indian languages. If the government is keen to promote Indian literature, then promotion and preservation of Sanskrit language is of paramount importance. Meanwhile, if Sanskrit is being killed at primary level, then its results will not only be harmful for Sanskrit but for Hindi and other Indian languages as well.”
If you destroy Sanskrit at elementary level, how will you create new words coming in from foreign languages in Bengali, Rajasthani, Malayali, Kannada, Gujarati or any other language, he questioned.
Isn’t it the job of Government of India to save Sanskrit which is the foundation of all Indian languages? It is running Sahitya Academy which gives award for literature produced in different Indian languages, there are so many academies being run by governments in state too, If Sanskrit is not being promoted, then such academies lose significance and should be closed and government should single language window which is English, he quipped.
Rajendra Misra, Retired professor, Jagadguru ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University said, “Sanskrit is the most ancient language of our nation and it is a surprise that we have subtracted this language from schools and given priority to other languages, this is injustice with the language. It is the need of the hour for this language to stay on top as the first priority for students and let other languages be removed if required.”
Speaking for those students who have already missed studying this language in school because of its unavailability, he said, “A new syllabus should come up for those students to make up the loss while those studying in schools should be given a choice to learn Sanskrit,” he added.
Meanwhile, as per the set norms of the Ministry, the scheme of Navodaya Vidyalayas has implemented the 3- language formula. The third language taught in Hindi-speaking districts is linked to the migration of students. All Navodaya Vidyalayas follow this formula, i.e., regional language, English and Hindi.
Going with these norms, the Rajasthani students studying in Navodaya Vidyalayas are studying regional languages like Marathi, Gujarati and Kashmiri depending on their migration under cultural exchange programme, said officials.
In Bikaner, students in Navodaya Vidyalayas are connected with Ratnagiri based Navodaya Vidyalaya under the cultural exchange programme being run by the Ministry in which two schools from different states are connected. They have to go to Ratnagiri in Maharashtra for a set time as per the clause and have to learn Marathi as their subject as it is conducive for them when they are in Maharashtra.
Similarly, in Jodhpur, students study Gujarati as third language for students here are sent to Gujarat under said programme. In Paota Tehsil coming under Jaipur, Gujarati yet again is the third language for students. Similarly, in Ganganagar coming near Punjab, there is Jammu-Kashmir language which is being studied by students, confirmed a Navodaya school official while talking to IANS.
A senior official of Navodaya Vidyaya told IANS, “The Ministry of Education has asked to conduct a data survey recently to find out how many students are interested in studying Sanskrit. On a trial basis, teachers are called on an agency basis to teach Sanskrit. There has been a good response on it and we are awaiting the next step of the government.”
Meanwhile, in the recently announced openings in Navodaya Vidyalayas, surprisingly, not even a Sanskrit opening can be seen which has left the Sanskrit scholars all across desert State annoyed and angry.
While there are openings for teachers for languages like Bodo, Assamese, Garo, Khasi, Kannada, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali, Odiya, Punjabi, Tamil Telugu, Urdu, etc., besides Hindi and English, Sanskrit is yet to find place in this big list.
Sanskrit Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sangathan Secretary Jai Prakash Gautam when questioned on the issue said that these are administration issues and the government needs to look into it. There are different scenarios in different states and we are studying it.”
He was in Odisha to attend a seminar and hence could not speak more.
Meanwhile, a senior teacher said, “In the last 8 years, the Central government could not get Sanskrit included as a third language in Navodaya Vidyalayas. Surprisingly, Sanskrit is not a subject in Kendriya Vidyalaya also in Class 11 and 12, he said adding, “We have no answers to students who come and inquire about the status of this language in schools.”
Rajasthan students suffer yet another challenge. Rajasthani language has not yet been given a status of regional language. BJP MP from Rajsamand Diya Kumari recently introduced the Constitution (Amendment) Bill-2022 in the Lok Sabha and urged for the inclusion of the Rajasthani language by amending the eighth schedule of the Constitution,.
Eventually students here are the biggest losers for they can’t study their regional language nor their own ancient language but are forced to study distant regional languages which they are not connected with, said a parent.