Recovering Sanskrit and Revitalising Vernacular Languages
According to Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the Kenyan award-winning author of 'Decolonising the Mind', giving up one’s native language in favour of the colonisers’, causes great swathes of native culture to be lost. For, the foreign language brings with it cultural connotations and symbols which are often incompatible with the profound indigenous way of viewing the world.
A case in point is the understanding of the word 'dharma'. To the Indian mind it is a way of life and Sanatana Dharma is the eternal quest for moksha, enlightenment or liberation. Translating Sanatana Dharma as Hinduism or equating 'Dharma' with “religion”, results in a loss of the many-sided and all-inclusive meaning it connotes and relegates it to a mere set of codes of conduct and practices.
The first step therefore towards revitalising Indian culture is to recover Sanskrit and make it a living language. Besides being the mother of most Indian and European languages, it is the foundation of the finest Indian expressions in all walks of life. Unless this is done, it will be like a huge glacial source lying undiscovered, while our parched souls seek water elsewhere.
Streams from the glacial source called Sanskrit have flowed through the length and breadth of this beautiful country and filled our lives with wonder, beauty and mysticism, into Indian literature, which need to be revitalised as well. And this is not at the cost of English which must and should remain a very strong 3rd language, a means to relate with the world. A child's brain is equipped to learn upto 5 languages simultaneously and should not be underestimated.
Join us as we embark along with other educators and scholars on one of the country’s most ambitious ventures; recovering Sanskrit and revitalising Indian languages! If you feel inspired to bring a change in this action area.