Underlining the urgent need to make Sanskrit the “language of mankind”, scholar Bannanje Govindacharya on Friday said that from being the preserve of the Brahmin community it should now be opened to non-Brahmins.

Addressing the first convocation of Karnataka Samskrit University, Dr. Bannanje Govindacharya said that there was a need to make Sanskrit — once considered the “language of Brahmins” — as the language of non-Brahmins.

Stressing the need to make learning Sanskrit mandatory in the curriculum, he observed that Kannada language, which was in danger due to the prominence of English, could be protected by promoting Sanskrit. “Lack of patronage to Sanskrit will have an adverse impact on Kannada in the next 50 years,” he noted.

Experts in English and Sanskrit were always at loggerheads. It was the responsibility of the Samskrit University to bring both of them together for creating a “coordinated education system”, he noted.

Expressing concern over the disappearance of thousands of palm leaf manuscripts, he said that there was a need to accord priority to protect and preserve them in the form of micro-films. Management of Oriental Research Institute in Mysore should be immediately handed over to the Samskrit University.

“It is imperative to train researchers who can read, write and understand palm leaves, which were in different of scripts,” he said. Recalling the contribution of Sanskrit to knowledge, Dr. Bannanje Govindacharya said that Sanskrit had “enriched every discipline of education.”

Honorary doctorate

Honoris Causa D. Litt degrees were conferred on Sudhakara Chaturvedi, N. Ranganatha Sharma, K.T. Pandurangi, C.G. Purushottam and Paraddi Mallikarjuna during the convocation.

As many as 153 students received undergraduate degrees and 136 received postgraduate degrees and 12 students, who topped in their respective Shastric disciplines, were given Excellence Certificate, with a cash award of Rs. 5,000.

New horizon

The Samskrit University was creating a new horizon of Sanskrit environment and elevating traditional Sanskrit education by conducting foundation lectures and national-level seminars. After the university took over Sanskirt education in the State, the number of students had increased. Following the demands of IT age, the university had launched its official website, Vice-Chancellor, Samskrit University, Mallepuram G. Venkatesh said.

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj presided over the function. Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi was present.

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