Quantcast
Home / History / Sanskrit – Can this be our National Language?

Sanskrit – Can this be our National Language?

February 6, 2013

The first Prime Minister of Independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th February 1949 while debating on the India’s language policy in the Constituent Assembly, had said that Sanskrit language and literature are the greatest treasure and heritage of India. His words are still used to demonstrate the importance of Sanskrit and the way it can preserve the Sanskriti (culture) of India.

Before the origin of any language,the way of handling down information to next generation was verbal. But with time and evolution, various languages were created in different parts of the world. Sanskrit is an ancient language of India and its origin is dated back to the Vedic period around 2nd millennium BC. Vedic Sanskrit is the pre classical form of this language and Sanskrit has also influenced most of the languages in Indian Subcontinent. Purified, adorned or refined speech are the few meanings of Sanskrit.

During the period between 500 BC and 1600 AD, the language was strictly confined to Brahmins and considered as a very special language. No one except for Brahmins were allowed to learn Sanskrit. To further restrict Sanskrit to just one caste, it was considered as the language of the Gods “Dev Bhasha”. But in the comparative study of languages done by scholars, it has been found that Sanskrit is part of the Indo-European family of languages with Indo-Iranian as sub family.

Grammar rules for Classic Sanskrit are known as Ashtadhyayi (Aṣṭādhyāyī) and these were recorded by Hindu Indian grammarian, Panini in around 4th century BCE.

Though it is listed as one of India’s 22 “scheduled” languages but it is not widely spoken in India except for its use in religious setting and mantras. The language is used in the religious services of Hindus, Jainis and Buddhists. Sanskrit is also the second official language of Uttarakhand.

Many a times Sanskrit is regarded as a dead language and not a common man’s spoken language in India. Perhaps it ceased to be spoken some thousands of years ago but its connection with religion has kept it alive. It was proposed that to preserve the language of Vedic origin, it should be made compulsory in schools and colleges. But probably this is quiet an impossible task to do, as various political parties will have different opinion on the same and some may not be in the favor of this. If possible we can make it our national language if not the official language of India. Other ways to popularize it should be found out.

Arguments in favour to make Sanskrit as a National language state that for any language to be a national language it must have born and developed in the country and Sanskrit is that language.

National language of the country should be close to the culture of the nation, which Sanskrit is.

Moreover you cannot identify it with any particular region or city so it is national in nature.

Then most of the languages in India have been born out of Sanskrit, so it is the mother of almost all the languages in the country.

Some scholars even believe that by teaching Sanskrit we will be more close to our cultural and traditional values which we are losing under the influence of western languages. This does not mean that we should not progress and ignore the modern truth but we should respect our roots as these are our foundation and Sanskrit is a part of it.

Related information:

Languages of India

Official and Regional Languages of India

About India

India Culture

History of India

 

avatar

I am a mother. A wife. And daughter of my loving parents by heart with passion for creativity, zeal to achieve something big in life but want to live life to its fullest.

Comments

Comments
Showing 9 Comments :

When india was divided. Pakisthan made religious language urdu as their national language. Why not we make sanskrit as over national language? its the mother of many languages not only inside but outside of india as well. I like calling myself aryan not hindu we we all are bharatvansi and the official name must also be changed to bharat.

Reply

I am trying to translate matter into hindi

Reply

I was thinking about this since a long time now. Sanskrit is the ‘Mother of all languages’ as we know it, even if its not for all languages it certainly is the mother of most of the Indian languages. Now if we Nationalize Sanskrit the regional bias should be gone. Hindi is the regional language of North India, and does not belong to the whole of India. Why should a Tamil, Gujrathi, or a Bengali should even be bothered to learn Hindi (the language of UP)? I have seen people to humiliate others from non-Hindi speaking regions for not so being good win Hindi. Would a Hindi speaking person be comfortable if he is being asked to used Oriya competently ? Hence to my observations and understandings Hindi should be treated as a regional language rather than a national language. Sanskrit should be the National language and English should be promoted heavily. Sanskrit would draw us close to our origin and English would help us with a global reach and profession. There is no brownie point for Hindi.

Reply

Sanskrit should be taught from 1st std itself and later followed to higher standards in next academic year. We also should research upon the old ‘Gurukul’ system of education system and try to implement it with present day system. Also the vedic literature is resource for great inventions which can be brought to use by Indians in India itself, this will surely once again make India a superpower.

Reply

Hey that is a brilliant idea which had struck my mind sometime ago but didn’t know how to express it. Why do we even study English? Are we still those rascals’ slaves? There should be sanskrit throughout without any use of English. Why should we not understand what our mantras and shlokas mean? sanskrit is even used as a base to make programming languages. We should start a plea for this purpose and let the generations that come forth not know what English was( or unless we have to go abroad and speak, then). यही मेरी प्रबल इच्छा है ।

अहम् समाप्त करोमि ।

जय गणेश

Reply

Man its awesome Idea .Full support I really wanna learn Sanskrit and it is best choice to be national language and all India language have taken birth from Sanskrit or have many loans words so it will take very less energy in learning Sanskrit as compare to english .We should make Sanskrit medium of education from school to university level and Official language through out India .State language can be official in there region .It will reduce tension between Hindi and other Indian language and also all Indian language verses English.In India no one like english we learn it because its imposed and important for job and Hindi is also not accept able to everyone but there is one language which most of the Indian love that is Sanskrit .I am a Hindi speaker but love to make Sanskrit in little simplified form accepting words from other Indian language as National language of India its our true identity and heritage .But will this anti-Hindu and Anti-Indian government who is owned by a Italian women and govern by a Pakistani prime Minster ( Manmohan born in pakistan ) will do it .

Reply
Krishnamurthi CG March 31, 2013 at 8:00 pm

First Sanskrit is not hard. In about 1year to 18 months one can gain good – speaking, reading, writing knowledge simple working knowledge. The idea of simplifying Sanskrit (spoken ) is already done and in practice by Samskrita Bharati. If one can speak then rest is very easy

Reply

we can simplify sanskrt.

Reply

Idea is good but not practical I mean how we gonna teach a language to 1.2 billion from starting.Its a hard language and needs lots of practice to became proficient in it .

Reply