The decision to “replace” Sanskrit with foreign languages in Kendriya Vidyalayas was a “western conspiracy” aimed at “ending Indian civilisation” and “Indian languages”, the Sanskrit Sikshak Sangh (SSS) — the organisation which spearheaded the movement that eventually resulted in the decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as a third language — has said.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the decision was taken in “national interest”. A similar view was taken by the SSS when it filed a PIL in May 2013 in the Delhi High Court against a circular issued by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), which allowed students to study foreign languages.
Last month, the HRD Ministry had asked KVS to reconsider the decision and told the court, “MoU between KVS and Goethe Institute-Max Mueller Bhawan for identifying and training Sanskrit teachers as German teachers has not been renewed.”
When contacted, SSS general secretary V Dayalu said that the imposition of foreign languages was a “western conspiracy aimed at causing damage to our culture, and ending Indian civilisation and Indian languages”.
The organisation — an umbrella body of Sanskrit scholars and teachers — claimed that they had approached the previous government as well, but in vain. After Narendra Modi announced his cabinet, the organisation wrote to the HRD Ministry reiterating their demands.
The RSS said the MoU was aimed at “inciting greed” at the “prospect of going abroad”.
“Teachers who went for the training were told that they could go abroad. If this isn’t inciting greed, then what is? It wasn’t true education. It was simply about allowing people to go abroad and earn money,” said Dayalu.
SSS president D K Jha said, “The fundamental aim of studying Sanskrit isn’t earning money, but the search for happiness. Learning Sanskrit gives you true happiness, decreases the chances of suicide. It increases patriotic spirit. Acquisition of wealth is a secondary aim, but Sanskrit can help in that too.”
He added, “Whether it’s Nasa’s research on the God particle or astronomy or mathematics, all of the knowledge is already there. Sanskrit is the key which will unlock it.”
Dayalu also said teaching Sanskrit to students would bring down the crime rate.