This January, the Indian Govt. cut funding for a Sanskrit program because it is now a sin to learn an ancient language and the reason: India has a large Muslim population.
Such camps, run by volunteers from Hindu nationalist groups, are designed to promote a language long dismissed as dead, and to instill in Hindus religious and cultural pride. Many Sanskrit speakers, though, believe that the camps are a steppingstone to a higher goal: turning back the clock and making Sanskrit modern India’s spoken language.
Their endeavors are viewed with suspicion by many scholars here as part of an increasingly acrimonious debate over the role of Sanskrit in schools and society. The scholars warn against exploiting Indians’ reverence for Sanskrit to promote the supremacy of Hindu thought in a country that, while predominantly Hindu, is also home to a large Muslim population and other religious minorities.
“It is critical to understand Sanskrit in order to study ancient Indian civilization and knowledge. But the language should not be used to push Hindu political ideology into school textbooks,” said Arjun Dev, a historian and textbook author. “They want to say that all that is great about India happened in the Hindu Sanskrit texts.”[Summer Camps Revive India’s Ancient Sanskrit]
When the Supreme Court of India writes judgements admiring the language in which Indian minds expressed noblest ideas, it takes the UPA Govt. to accuse that it is communal. Instead of whining about the Govt. the best course of action would be to organize a Samskrita Bharati camp in your area.