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View From The Right: Chant for Sanskrit

RSS's Organiser writes that ancient India’s knowledge system has a lot to offer the world. “The insights about life offered by this system are not meant for any sect but for the entire humanity.”

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A circular issued to CBSE school principals has directed schools to observe Sanskrit week from August 26 to September 1.

An editorial in the RSS’s Organiser, claims that Sanskrit is the “soul of Bharat” and attacks those “secularists” who see a communal tone in the language. “Whenever there is a discussion on reciting saraswati vandana or omkar, we have faced questions… The attempts to introduce Sanskrit week in CBSE schools were opposed”. The editorial argues that “secularists” opposed even surya namaskar and yoga and refuse to acknowledge that “dharmic scriptures are not merely sacred books as in the Semitic religions” but contain the vocabulary of “our thought processes and knowledge systems”.

The Organiser writes that ancient India’s knowledge system has a lot to offer the world. “The insights about life offered by this system are not meant for any sect but for the entire humanity.” Therefore, many European countries have promoted Sanskrit and Indic studies in their universities. Islamic countries like Malaysia have Sanskrit study centres and universities like Harvard and Columbia consider the Gita an important text in management studies. “By calling Sanskrit a classical language, we confined it to temples and did not allow it to become the lingua franca of the country,” the editorial says. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Naziruddin Ahmed moved

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a resolution in the Constituent Assembly for making Sanskrit a national language, but it was rejected by the Congress “in the name of secularism”, The Organiser claims. The article says that “we have given a step-motherly treatment to the mother of all languages”, and that the time has come to accept Sanskrit as “the source of our vision of life”.

History and ancestry

An article in Panchjanya notes that “pseudo secular politics” has “contributed significantly” to turning Muslims against India. It says Partition was caused by Gandhi assuming the Congress leadership instead of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Iqbal prodding Muhammad Ali Jinnah to seek a separate Muslim state. Further, it says that politicians have created the wedge between Hindus and Muslims and that a majority of Indian Muslims have a similar relationship with India as Hindus. It says Pakistan celebrated the 5000th birth anniversary of Panini and that if Panini can be their ancestor, why can’t Inrss, sanskrit, rss sanskrit, organiser, rss organiser, sanskrit movies, sanskrit cinema, cinema on sanskrit, india newsdian Muslims consider Rama, Krishna, Vyas, Valmiki among their ancestors? The article goes on to argue that “foreign invaders like Babar, Aurangzeb, Shahjahan cannot be the ancestors of Indian Muslims”. These invaders “forcibly converted Hindus and destroyed their traditions”. This truth should be conveyed to the Muslim community, the article says.

Cinema in Sanskrit

The Organiser has an interview with Malayalam filmmaker Vinod Mankara, who has made the world’s “third Sanskrit feature film”, Priyamanasam. Bhagavad Gita, released in 1993, was the last film to be made in Sanskrit. Mankara says he “was intrigued by the elegance and beauty of Sanskrit” from his childhood. He was fascinated by Kalidasa and Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda. Making a Sanskrit movie was a dream he cherished since his college days. The movie is based on the life of 17th century Malayalam poet Unnayi Warrier and depicts his internal crisis when he is asked to write an attakkatha (Kathakali play) by Marthanda Varma, then king of Travancore.
Mankara believes a Sanskrit movie is financially viable as the language lives in many villages. The director claims he was “never concerned about the market value of this movie as we can never envisage this subject from a commercial angle”. He rejects the perception that Sanskrit is a difficult language and adds that “you can’t point out another language which is as melodious as Sanskrit”. “Even the articulation of Sanskrit creates positive vibration in you,” he says.

Compiled by Ashutosh Bhardwaj