Demanding an independent “Gujarat State Sanskrit Education Board”, the state wing of Sanskrit Bharati has launched a campaign for the “development and revival” of the ancient language in Gujarat. Sanskrit Bharati, the RSS-affiliated organisation dedicated to the language, has launched a “21-point” signature campaign and roped in general public and Sanskrit experts and educationists in each district. This was submitted to each district collector, along with the Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Sources revealed that once the districts are covered through respective collectors, Sanskrit Bharati is set to take up the cause through the state’s MLAs and MPs, irrespective of the political party they represent. “We have covered major districts, including Ahmedabad, Surat, Somnath, Vadodara and Dwarka, and submitted our signed representation, addressed to the CM and Education Minister. Within ten days, we are aiming to complete all 33 districts. If Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh can have a Sanskrit education department and board, why can not a state like Gujarat where people want to learn Sanskrit and work for its revival. This is the reason the demand for a board is on our priority list, with 20 other demands,” said Himanjay Paliwal, Sanskrit Bharati’s rajya sangathan mantri (state organising secretary).
Confirming to have received the demands, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “The state government is always pro-active in supporting the cause of Sanskrit language which is the matrubhasha (mother language) of all languages. The government has been taking steps in its development and will continue to do so in the future as well.”
The letter (a copy is with The Indian Express), prepared by Sanskrit Bharati’s core team of 70 members representing each district, mentions other demands from school education to higher education. It also covers “traditional education”, “Sanskrit department” and “special recommendation”.
Under school education, it emphasises on “Gujarat Sanskrit teachers training centre”, “serious thinking over creation of textbooks and curriculum keeping in mind students’ learning levels” and “recruitment of Sanskrit teachers”. It argues that since language teachers are graduates in any of the languages, “only graduates in Sanskrit should be appointed as Sanskrit teachers”.
Similarly, under the higher education, the demands cover, “To fill vacant posts of Sanskrit professors in colleges and universities – Maharishi Ved Yigyan Academy, Ahmedabad (affiliated under Gujarat University, Ahmedabad) and Shree Dwarkadheesh Sanskrit Academy, Dwarka (affiliated under Saurashtra University Rajkot) to be affiliated under Somnath Sanskrit University. This will not only develop these two institutions, but also provide a momentum to Somnath Sanskrit University. Sanskrit students to be eligible for admission in Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) degree courses.”
“Like ‘Smart cities’ and ‘Digital Gujarat’, the state should also aim at ‘Digital Sanskritam’ to work for digitisation of Sanskrit scriptures, its collection and research. Sanskrit Bharati also requests the state to adopt and implement central government’s ‘vision and roadmap document’ 2016 prepared for the development of Sanskrit,” added Paliwal.
Next week, the “21-point” representation will be taken to each MLA and MP which will be officially sent through them to Chudasama and Rupani.
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