Please refer to my related article( fb.me/2BKS8L6Px ) penned today on the subject, on my Facebook timeline.
There is also a conference on “Sanskrit As A Language of Science” today at IIC, New Delhi., presided over by Mr.Katju, Press Council of India.
Sanskrit is called a dead language by some uninformed people because it is not presently spoken by the majority of Indians,except priests, but it is WRONG to call it dead, as most North Indian languages are derived from it and it is related to ancient Greek and Latin, hence being useful in the study of European languages, as well as understanding of Ancient Science. In fact, each Sanskrit word contains its meaning within itself, which English does not do. As a simple example, the Sanskrit word ‘Bahishkaar'(बहिष्कार), which means ‘boycott’, contains within it two parts – ‘Bahish’ (Out) and ‘Kaar’ (Do or Make), which bring out its meaning clearly. Whereas, do the components of the corresponding English word, boycott, viz. ‘ boy’ and cott’ make any sense, or convey the meaning of the word? That shows that it is a corrupted
language, and less accurate or comprehensible than Sanskrit !
Moreover, It is heard that it’s Devnagari script is also supposed to be more suitable for typewriting than the Roman or other scripts, and covers many pronunciations unknown to the Roman or English script and not reproducible therein, such as ‘ण’ /ऋ, hence it is high time that it got a boost!
( However, it may interest the readers to know that the Dravidian scripts, especially Tamil and Malyalam offer a vaster option of pronunciations in their alphabet and script, like
௵ , which even Sanskrit does not have. For it is heard that it was the Assyrians – Asuras? – , and Sumerians, ancient Mesopotamian or Dravidian races, who introduced the art of writing by devising the cuneiform or Brahmi script, before the Rigvedi Aryans developed the Sanskrit or Devanagari script, which is also said to be a derivative of the Brahmi (Indus Valley?)script, but Devanagari evolved into its own finer form subsequently.
Some authors on the other hand, claim that the Devnagri Script ( not the language), has been derived from the Aramaic script, but it is possible that it originated from the Brahmi script, but evolved subsequently through the medium of the Aramaic script to become an almost totally different script.This is quite possible as many of the original Aryans were Migrating people, whereas the people of the Indus Valley and Mesopotamian valleys had already got down to a settled lifestyle, and lived in cities, which is necessary for stability and development of any civilization, and skills.
The Brahmi script of which Tamil Brahmi is a variant, is the earliest Indian alphabetical script. The cuneiform script has been adopted in its various dialects by almost all countries, except a few who still use the older hieroglyphic or picturesque script of Egyptians, Chinese and Japanese. It is a pity therefore that the Dravidian language Tamil ( orig. Dhamil ) has been given a back seat in India, and should be revived. However, it is the fault of the Southerners, particularly Tamilians in that they chose to strive for maintaining their autonomy rather than to assert the importance of, and promote, their own language. And it is learnt that Tamil itself has become Sanskitised over the years and is not like its original form any more.
A Tamilian friend of mine told me that if she spoke to me in the original Tamil, I would not be able to understand it at all! For example, her name is
Rajarajeshwari, which is Sanskritiised, but in original Tamil, it would be
‘ Manamantunevi’, which is totally incomprehensible!
I am disappointed that except for Tamilians, none of the other Southern states like Andhra, Telangana , Karnataka and Kerala are bothered about
the importance of their language like Tamilians.
Some years back, I was trying to learn Bengali too, and in the process,
I observed a curious and interesting point, that though the language is definitely Aryan, and the consonants are derived from the Sanskrit Devnagri script, the pronunciations of vowels like ‘a, e, I, o, u’ (आ इ ई उ ऊ ए, ऐ ओ औ) are written in the way of the Dravidian language Tamil, which also I have learnt (in elementary fom), that is, with the same type of strokes for ‘kaana, maatra’,Etc. This shows a definite Brahmi or Dravidian influence on Bengali, which may have come during the time of Ashoka, as there are forms of Brahmi called Ashokan Brahmi and Northern Brahmi. Truly intriguing!
All said and done, let me make it clear that the Aim of this article is not to undermine the importance of ENGLISH in our educational institutions or in Government Offices for administrative correspondence.
For English is an Internationally adopted and used language and is here to stay, FOREVER, even after the end of the British Rule.
Let us not play down the importance or applicability oEnglish the language, as a mere baggage of the ‘English Rulers’, for it will be like ‘throwing the Baby with the bathwater’!
And despite whatever prejudice may be present in the minds of many Indians against the British, I myself, a preIndependence product, studying in a Convent school, I must honestly say that I enjoyed reading their lovely ‘Radiant Readers’ that we used to get at the beginning of every scholastic year, with their glossy, fresh- smelling pages and vivid, bright pictures
of The English Seaside and gulls, which used to transport me mentally
to that place for a while, and I, being a child then, was disappointed to see the drab books we started getting in contrast, in Free India!
Yet I realised in due course that Freedom is Freedom, no matter what,
and I am proud of our country for having won it. There are no two minds about it!
Dr. Usha Padiyar