Hindi or Sanskrit - Which language should get the priority?

Hindi or Sanskrit – Which language should get the priority?

Introduction:

The most widely spoken language of our nation, Hindi could in years to come be put for a competition with Sanskrit, the sacred language of India. Promoting Sanskrit in schools and educational institutes was just the beginning. In times to come, we may even need to know Sanskrit to qualify for bureaucratic posts of India or so are the autocrats dreaming. Ethics and morals are being judged based on ones knowledge of epics. I am sure there is no harm intended if students or people want to learn Sanskrit or any other language but only if it stays as an option and not compulsion. One of our highly esteemed ministers said that he felt ashamed for not being able to learn Sanskrit and asked all other Tamil ministers to learn the language along with Hindi.

Pro Hindi:

1. Hindi is our national language. It is not just the most widely spoken language of our nation but also the most common medium of communication in almost every part of India. It would be absolutely unfair to give Sanskrit equal weightage when it comes to the importance of learning these languages in schools. Hindi should be and is rightfully compulsory but bringing Sanskrit to the same level and making it compulsory for students is definitely not bringing any good to our already sanity deprived educational system.

2. Tamils have their own religious scriptures written in their own language of ease but now asking them to revert to Sanskrit to pay respect to the language that is regarded sacred to a particular community is sheer dictatorship. Moreover, it is still not understood why a minister should feel ashamed for not being a scholar of Sanskrit. His regards and inclination towards his party is acceptable but his advisory towards language learning is not. Whether or not the Tamils want to learn Sanskrit should be their own choice and not something that required a speech by a politician who could have rather concentrated on more serious issues of the region.

3. If recent reports are to be believed, students in Punjab are failing miserably in English and Hindi and their mother tongue, Punjabi. The drawback will show on their grades for the board examinations. Did the education ministry consider these cons before shocking students with a bunch of epics to learn and produce in the examinations, just to please the people she owes her current position to? The teachers are blaming it upon the sudden burden of learning Sanskrit that has the students stressed and anxious. English is not easy to learn for all high schools students, especially those coming from poor families. The students already put in a lot of efforts to perfect their knowledge of English language and of course we have the regional language learning compulsion too. Now to add to the misery of kids, government blindly introduced to them another bunch packed with stress and apprehensions for students.

4. How many national languages are students supposed to learn in order to prove their patriotic spirit to the world? Why are we supposed to prove anything at all to anyone about our culture?

5. Our clash over language is so far reaching that we continuously dig up histories to prove the supremacy of one over the other. Recently a claim that the national anthem "Jana Gana Mana" was originally written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore and translated into Hindi to adopt into the Constitution, has triggered controversy in Kolkata. The fact that the National anthem is in Bengali Sanskrit doesn't satisfy the curiosity of the petitioners. This is all happening because of the module we have allowed to flourish, the one that divides us over supremacy of one language over the other.

Pro Sanskrit:

1. Our history of the rich cultural heritage prior to the evasions are all in Sanskrit. The translated versions do tell the tale but then they are interpreted from the point of view of the person behind the translation. If someone wants to get into the depth of these epics and classic literatures of our history, they must read the original version which is in Sanskrit. It is said that the Upanishads contain facts of living and life that was scientifically invented very long time after the epics were written. Our true capability could be hidden in them and only when students of history read the sources in their true form, they can construe ways of make India better.

2. Many Indian languages are derived from Sanskrit. While travelling along the states of our own country, it sometimes becomes difficult to communicate with the locals, which is sometimes extremely necessary, like while commuting in the public transportations in the Southern region of India. Learning Sanskrit makes it easier to learn many other regional languages.

3. Learning ability is higher in school going children. This ability slowly declines as we grow older. Children these days are capable of learning multiple foreign languages at the same time along with English, Hindi and regional language. How much more difficult should it be if another language is introduced to them at the tender age? My argument that it should not be compulsory still prevails though. It could be introduced as an optional or vocational course so that the grades would not suffer.

4. Sanskrit is said to be the best language for computers. It is being said that NASA will soon adopt Sanskrit as a computer language. According to a NASA scientist Rick Briggs, "Sanskrit is the natural language in which a message can be sent by the computer in the least number of words." It is being said that artificial intelligence would benefit hugely when Sanskrit is adopted in computers. Not just historians but computer geeks also seems to be at the stage of benefiting hugely from learning this ancient language.

Conclusion:

Learning a language, be it Sanskrit or German, has its benefits and no disadvantage for sure. If parents and students are interested in learning Sanskrit, it could be introduced in schools but as I mentioned in the beginning, it should be kept optional and not made mandatory. You do not learn anything from compulsion. If leaders and scholars of Sanskrit believe that learning the language can benefit all, allow the students to know that for themselves instead of pushing them for it. Let them identify what they want in life instead of asking them to blindly follow. Moreover, we have to learn to stop fighting over the superiority of a language. It cannot be denied that mainstream media and the involvement of extremist clans into the debate over Sanskrit has portrayed the promotion of this language as a communal attempt. If they are to be proved wrong, why don't we just step aside, introduce the language as an optional subjects and then watch the students gather their interests in it?
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    Discussion

  • RE: Hindi or Sanskrit – Which language should get the priority? -Dipanjali (09/26/15)
  • Accordn to me vry language is best n learning differnt language is nt a bad thning. Bt in othrway hindi language should get priority coz except odisha oll states people ussing hindi n its also our rastriya bhasa .
  • RE: Hindi or Sanskrit – Which language should get the priority? -Rohit Sharma (09/26/15)
  • it is no harm to learn language because world is becoming a global village and we are learning so many languages to fit our self.
    both the languages are good but I don't think that Sanskrit should get priority because Hindi is our national language and if we give priority to Sanskrit tha it is not fair with Hindi
    and second the decision is to be depend upon the students whether he is interested or not

  • RE: Hindi or Sanskrit – Which language should get the priority? -Deepa Kaushik (09/25/15)
  • Hindi or Sanskrit or any other language, every language bears its own importance. Language is no bad, all the languages are equally good and beautiful in its presentation. Hindi and Sanskrit both are Indian languages and bear their value and importance. It is never about the priority or seniority of their origin, but the way they are used is of importance.

    We get to see the language Hindi being used as a dialect in many of the north Indian states. This language is under continuous use and being taught as a subject in many schools upto the secondary level. Children tend to know the basics of this language and get to know to read, write and speak Hindi as a dialect.

    On the other hand, sanskrit is our primitive language and many of the Indian languages have their origin from Sanskrit. We get to have many words in the different Indian languages from Sanskrit. This language is mainly used in the ancient Shlokas and religious chants being recited in many temples. This language definitely needs a bit more focus as people lack knowledge of Sanskrit and fail to understand the ancient chants being written in Sanskrit. Though schools especially the CBSE syllabus make it compulsary upto the primary level, we find children just being able to read and write and mug up the things to pass their examination. Failure to use it as a dialect often makes them to forget even the basics of this language.

    Though we need to have focus on Sanskrit, but that doesn't mean to force the language on the population making it a part of the official documentation or dialect. People are unaware of many languages, that doesn't mean every individual should master every single language. It is beyond human ability to learn every thing. We should have a sensible understanding that Sanskrit is like any other language. We should retyain it as a subject in schools toprevent its extinction. However, it would be unfair to make it compulsary for everyone. Let us have one single language to be classified as a nationallanguage to unite every Indian with a common language. But it would be incorrect to force every language on the population.