Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SANSKRIT is the second official language of Uttarakhand state


Fw: Samskritam is the second official language of Uttarakhand state - Sanskrit speaking village in Karnataka

Bharat J. Gajjar Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM

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Subject: Fw: Samskritam is the second official language of Uttarakhand state - Sanskrit speaking village in Karnataka

Sanskrit is second official language in Uttarakhand
By Ravindra Saini
It is a great irony that in India, 18 states have made Urdu their second official language under the appeasement policy but for the first time the Uttarakhand government took the right decision by declaring Sanskrit the second official language. -KS Sudarshan, former RSS Sarsanghachalak
Against the mad race among certain states declaring Urdu as second official language, Uttarakhand became the first State in the country to declare Sanskrit as second official language. The State Assembly passed a Bill to this effect recently. Now, it is hoped that the much-neglected language would flourish in the State.

It is a well known fact that Sanskrit is a very scientific language and even many words of English have been taken from Sanskrit. Uttarakhand has long association with Sanskrit as many great Sanskrit scholars belong to this region. Kalidasa was born in Uttarakhand at Kavitha and by his writings he not only established his reputation as one of the all time great playwright, but also contributed towards promotion of Sanskrit also as Devvani.

As per the constitutional provisions, Article 345 determines the official language or languages and under the provision of Article 346 and 347 the Legislative Assembly of any State may adopt any of language/languages indicated in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution as its official language. Under the provision contained in the Article 345 of the Constitution Uttarakhand adopted Sanskrit as second official language. It is a well known fact that Article 343 of the Constitution declares Hindi as official language of the Indian Republic. In the case (AIR 1995 (SC 293) of Santosh Kumar and Others Vs Union Ministry of Human Recourse, the Supreme Court too made it clear that study of Sanskrit is not against secularism, rather, the study of Sanskrit is compulsory for the development of Sanskrit language.

Thus, the Uttarakhand Assembly has set an example for other states in the country by declaring Sanskrit as second official language. The Rajbhasha Vidheyak was brought in the Assembly to make Sanskrit as second official language as people of the State have keen interest in the language. They tend to use Sanskrit on special auspicious occasions with extreme regards. There are primary, intermediate, graduate and postgraduate Sanskrit medium schools and colleges also in the State which contribute to spread and learning of Sanskrit. The State government is providing all possible help to these schools and colleges and is trying its best to remove all their problems and obstacles which hinder their progress. That is why the State government decided to make Sanskrit the second official language.

This decision of the government would certainly help in flourishing and promoting Sanskrit in the State. Former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan and many Sanskrit scholars felicitated Dr Nishank in Haridwar for this courageous step. Shri Sudarshan described it a historical and commendable decision. He said the decision is according to the sentiments of the people since so many saints and rishis dwelt and learnt spiritual values through Sanskrit. It is a great irony that in India, 18 states have made Urdu their second official language under the appeasement policy but for the first time the Uttarakhand government took the right decision by declaring Sanskrit the second official language, he said.

Talking to Organiser Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said the decision has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by the people from all nooks and corners of the State, the country and abroad. "Other states should learn from the decision. They should think of the rich great cultural heritage of India which made Bharat Vishvaguru. I feel all should work for the glorious future of Bharatmata ‘giving up all selfish interests and should declare Sanskrit as second official language of Bharat. Uttarakhand is the school of Sanskrit. It is due to the Sanskrit language that India is respected in the entire world," he said.

Praising the step taken by Dr Nishank former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and veteran BJP leader Shri Nityanand Swami described it a historical decision which should be appreciated by all. He said the party had promised it in its election manifesto and it is good that the promise has been materialised.

Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy is organising different programmes to facilitate the publicity and promotion of Sanskrit in the State. Through many programmes, the Academy is going to establish direct contact with the people of Uttarakhand. One such programme is Sanskrit Natya Yatra. For the first time school children in the State have been selected to undergo a 20-day drama-training programme. The trained students staged dramas at six locations across the State. The play Karnabharam composed by Mahakavi Bhas was staged by them at girls’ inter college at Srinagar. Prior to the performance in Srinagar, the Sanskrit plays were staged in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Bageshwar and Joshimath as part of the Sanskrit Natya Yatra. The Yatra concluded in Chamba. The students were trained by noted Sanskrit drama director Shri Suresh Babu of Sanskrit Department of Kaladi University in Kerala.

In order to elicit a connection between students and Sanskrit in the State the Academy had during August last year organised different events in all the 95 developmental blocks. These events included Sanskrit plays, group singing, dance, debate, oration and general knowledge competitions. The Academy also initiated efforts aimed at facilitating the provision of Sanskrit Gram status to Bhanataula village in Bageshwar district. The Academy will also put efforts towards it from Kimotha village which has already been accorded the status of Sanskrit Gram in Chamoli district.
Sanskrit speaking village in Karnataka, tryst with IT
Vedic village’s tryst with IT,%20oops,%20concept,%20c+=
Govind Krishnan V
A quarter century ago, AI magazine carried an article that evoked much curiosity among its readers — regular or casual. The 1985 spring issue
of the California-based quarterly featured a write-up by an American called Rick Briggs on artificial intelligence (AI) and Sanskrit.
Briggs, who compared its grammar with that of the computer, came to a startling conclusion: Sanskrit, which ceased to be a living tongue
millennia ago, had such a logical meaning-structure that it could be a rich mining field for AI.

The following year, Briggs and several academicians flew down to India to pick the brains of India’s Sanskrit pundits who had gathered at
Bangalore for a conference inspired by his research.
Had their trip happened today, those experts would have taken Bangalore as nothing more than a stopover. From the Garden City, they
would’ve taken a bus and travelled seven hours north to meet the residents of Mattur. In this village, Sanskrit isn’t dead. The
language leads an existence — perhaps beleaguered, but tenacious — among its 2,000-odd people. Critically, Briggs and company would have
also have witnessed the beginnings of this near-Vedic village’s strange tryst with Hindustan’s nascent IT revolution: the village has
produced around 150 software engineers!
It is a link Briggs would have found exciting. Mattur and its twin village Hosanahalli, a few kilometres north of Shimoga town, sandwich
a thin strip of the Tungabhadra. Enter Mattur, and your senses are assailed by a host of sights that is eccentric in its fusion of the
picturesque and the quixotic. While a set of Smartha Brahmins recite Vedic hymns by the riverside in the morning cold, a couple of young
men with tufts zoom past on a black Pulsar — the unstitched folds of their white uparivasthras flapping in the breeze. When I enter the
home of Gopal Avadhani, a retired engineer, a boy named Shantarama introduces himself in Sanskrit, “Mama naama Shantarama.”

Sanskrit dominates the life of Mattur, and not just because half the populace speak the language — with varying degrees of fluency. Right
about the time Briggs and his crew were discovering the semantic potential of Sanskrit for computer applications, Mattur was
rediscovering Sanskrit for itself.
The journey back to its Vedic roots started for the village in 1981 when Sanskrita Bharati, an organisation that promotes the classical
language, conducted a Sanskrit workshop in Mattur. It was attended, among others, by the pontiff of the Pejawar Mutt in nearby Udupi.

Inspired by this village where Sanskrit survived as a spoken language, the seer reportedly exclaimed, “A place where individuals speak
Sanskrit, where whole houses talk in Sanskrit! What next? A Sanskrit village!” It’s a call Mattur took to heart.

Sanskrit is reputedly a tough nut to crack, but is it that different from picking up any other language? In some rather important ways, it
seems it is. When Shantarama leaves for school and says “Aham vidyalayam gachhami” (I am going to school), he will know that
gachhami is very much like gamanam — which means movement. Both words come from the root class gam, from which a fluent Sanskrit speaker can
dig up words for all kinds of movements and for things that move. Like gau for cows and khagah for birds. But khagah is not merely something
that moves. It is that which it moves in khagam (sky). From a few basic classes (root words), Sanskrit creates an endless chain of words
— all linked to each other.
“The objects, events and actions are all labelled depending on the root,” says Srivatsa S, who is doing his research in linguistics at
the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
Dhruv Kumar, who is scholar Gopal Avadhani’s nephew, is one of Mattur’s success stories. He heads a software development company in
Bangalore. The IT professional is a stranger to linguistics concepts, but he is very familiar with the idea that one can link together a
vast set of seemingly random things by boiling them down to basic classes that will split the objects between them. He would be doing it
every day. In his office at Mahalakshmi Layout when Dhruv works on Java or C ++, he is using Object Oriented Programming (OOP), a
programming technique that thinks on lines similar to Panini’s Sanskrit grammar.
OOP allows the programmer to define classes and clump together objects belonging to the same class. Each object within the class can be a
further class, and can give more objects, just like one word leads on to another in Sanskrit.
Dhruv, however, is not interested in whether Java shares semantic genes with Sanskrit. His obsession at the moment is Shridam — a rural
BPO that set up operations in Mattur three months back. Shridam is Dhruv’s way of giving back to the village that raised him and which he
longs to go back to. The BPO, the brainchild of Mattur’s affluent techie migrants, employs 50 villagers at the moment. “It gives us from
Rs 3,000 to 5,000 a month,” says Pattabhiraman, an employee. “We might get double that in Bangalore, but the cost of living there makes
Shridam much more attractive. Besides we can stay at home.”
The beehive of air-conditioned cubicles that outsource business operations from foreign shores is something we only associate with a
city. But Dhruv thinks this has not only limited our business imagination but held our villages back. “If I can service the USA
sitting here in Bangalore, why can’t I do the same from Shimoga? From Mattur?” The words of a dreamer? Dhruv does not agree. After all, the
line between dreaming and innovation is a thin one. “When I can get better support, better connectivity and better power in Shimoga, why
can’t I deliver the same product to my customers at a lower cost?”
Sridham is only the tip of the iceberg for Dhruv and his various associates. For them setting up a rural BPO is merely the first step
in stemming the flood of urban migration that is eroding the very fabric of villages like Muttur. They have much bigger plans for their
village. The profits from the BPO shall go into a special fund with which they hope to launch much bigger technological projects in
Mattur. And these projects will be not only be run but conceived and conceptualised by the youth of Mattur. “We want to educate our young
> people and take up their ideas,” Dhruv explains. “Let them come up with their own projects and execute them. We will give them the
What kind of projects does he have in mind? “Well, for example, wind and water energy from the Tunga can be harnessed to generate power
indigenously. The channels of the Badhra flow into the Tunga and the water force can be a valuable resource for our village,” he says.
Other plans of a similar kind are being chalked; the thrust is to make the Muttur a self-sufficient unit.
If Dhruv’s dreams come true, Mattur would be a bizarre candidate for that holy grail of liberal economists — the global village. It would
be bizarre not merely because the denizens of this global village will speak Sanskrit and wear unstitched clothes while running software
companies and techno-heavy development projects.

How to keep a language alive
If one man can be said to be responsible for Mattur’s Sanskrit revolution, it would be Srinidhi, a stocky, bullet-headed man with an
enthusiasm that belies his forties. Srinidhi heads Sanskritha Bhavan, a Sanskrit-teaching institute that has taken upon itself a job that to
many would seem quixotic, the task of taking the language out of textbooks and literature and bringing it back to life on the streets
of Mattur. Among the many things the institute does, the primary one is the language support it gives to the local school. Sanskrit is the
first language in the Sharada Vidyapeeth, a private school managed by > the villagers that educates the village’s children at little more than
Rs 80 a month. Sanskrita Bharati organises spoken Sanskrit courses every few months to make sure that nothing is learnt by rote and
forgotten. These Sanskrita Shibirams (Sanskrit camps), where learners brush up on their speaking skills see all kinds — men, women,
Brahmins, Harijans, college students, middle-aged farmers. And the discussions, Srinidhi says, are very lively. The enthusiast, however,
admits that the occasional old-timer who grumbles “Sanskrit? At my age?” is not uncommon.

The technological edge
Fifty to sixty software professionals from Mattur are placed in the different IT firms that have made Bangalore the Silicon valley of
India. “People from my native place are working for companies such as Wipro, Infosys, HP, IBM and several others in Bangalore,” says
Shashank who is the chief technological officer of Samartha, a software development company in Bangalore floated by another
Matturite. Samartha which offers IT services to IT giants in India and abroad, and have HP, IBM and Wipro among its clients. The organisation
employs 100 software engineers, of whom 25 are from Mattur. Another venture with a Mattur entrepreneur at its helm, combines software
development functions with that of a training institute. The company provides training to graduates in languages like Java and PLSQL
(Procedural Language/Structured Query Language). Mattur has not just spawned techies. It has made its mark in the scientific community
also. “Two scientists from Mattur have won the Bhatnagar award for original research,” said Dhruv Kumar, the owner of Samartha.



At 6:07 AM, Blogger Manish Nandaniya said...

I am greatly interested in Sanskrit language, but I am unable to find an appropriate direction to do for it. I want to learn Sanskrit. I want to word for it...
If you could, please Suggest me some direction to work something for it....

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