Taking Sanskrit closer to people

RSVP Vice Chancellor plans to take the language to slums

Published - February 12, 2017 12:16 am IST - Tirupati:

V. Muralidhara Sharma

V. Muralidhara Sharma

If Sanskrit has to be made a popular language spoken by the common people, it has to be taken out of the confines of university campuses. From the possessive hands of a scholarly few, it has to be made accessible to the masses, who should proudly ‘own’ the language, leave alone speak fluently.

This is the goal V. Muralidhara Sharma has set for himself after taking over recently as the Vice Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha (RSVP). The varsity, functioning under the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), has made strides in conducting high-end research, preserving manuscripts and blending ancient knowledge with modernity by making them available online, but little progress has been made in interacting with the immediate neighbourhood society.

The refreshingly new idea of taking Sanskrit to the reach of State-funded Telugu medium school children and making them speak a few words, sing hymns and recite a couple of verses has already drawn attention. This might be a difficult task for a novice, but not for Dr Sharma, who has already taken similar measures in the past. The same will be replicated and conducted under the official banner of the university.

In a special interview to The Hindu after assuming office, Dr Sharma contemplated the idea of launching a ‘Sanskrit Prachara Kendra’ in the university to act as the nodal centre in taking Sanskrit to slum dwellers. “Unearthing the knowledge hidden in Sanskrit is an altogether different task. At the same time, it is also important to take the language to the reach of the common man to make tangible impact on society,” he said.

The kendra will identify some of its students, impart necessary pedagogical skills required to conduct spoken Sanskrit classes and let them run the outreach programme. “The concept will start with making our own non-teaching staff speak in Sanskrit,” he said.

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