As Uttar Pradesh readies for by-elections to eight assembly seats, the state government has started issuing significant press releases, especially the speeches of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in Sanskrit language, besides English, Hindi and Urdu.
The move comes after a similar attempt by the Yogi government more than a year ago, in June 2019, that did not last long.
What is different this time?
In order to sustain the move, the state government has decided to hire Sanskrit experts on contract basis to carry out the job of translation. The translated speeches and notifications decisions in Sanskrit are also being uploaded on social media.
On September 26, UP’s Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) Twitter handle had announced that the press releases of the UP government will now be released in Sanskrit as well. The CMO handle also shared a press release in Sanskrit with details of the government’s Covid-19 review meeting.
The idea is to ensure that not just the CMO releases press notes in Sanskrit but also all government departments and offices of deputy chief ministers as well as other ministers do the same.
Why is the UP govt promoting Sanskrit
The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its poll manifesto for 2017, had specifically promised to promote Sanskrit if it would be voted to power in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, Yogi Adityanath’s love for Sanskrit is well-known. The CM is well- versed in the language and takes personal interest in its promotion. A Sanskrit school functions on the premises of Gorakhnath Temple, of which Adityanath is the chief priest.
With the crucial bypolls approaching, the state government is keen to deliver on its promise.
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Why is this good news for Sanskrit scholars?
While there are hardly any prominent Sanskrit dailies in the state, there are a large number of students with degrees of Acharya and Shashtri pass out each year in the state.
Sources in the government inform that the move would result in the hiring of Sanskrit translators, in line with similar hirings of Urdu translators during the previous state governments, that released press-notes and notifications in Urdu along with Hindi and English.
Every year, about 50,000 students pass-out with the degrees of Sashtri and Acharya (graduation and post-graduation) in the state, which has one dedicated Sanskrit University, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, and about 69 aided Sanskrit colleges and over 200 private Sanskrit colleges operational in the state. Students either become “Purohits” or wait for the vacancies for Sanskrit teachers in government schools.
Chairman of Sanskrit Sansthan Vachaspati Mishra said: “Promotion of the language would not stop at this, there are several other things in the pipeline and being discussed, including launch of online competitions for the students in Sanskrit. There might not be many newspapers at present, but once the government starts promoting the language, it would encourage others to follow the same as well.”
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