RSS-affiliated scholar to chair panel on promotion of languages

Mission of Chamu Krishna Shastry of Thanjavur is to revive Sanskrit as a spoken language

November 16, 2021 02:00 am | Updated 10:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

Chamu Krishna Shastry is a founding member of the RSS-affiliated Samskrita Bharati whose mission is to revive Sanskrit as a spoken language.

Chamu Krishna Shastry is a founding member of the RSS-affiliated Samskrita Bharati whose mission is to revive Sanskrit as a spoken language.

Chamu Krishna Shastry, a founding member of the RSS-affiliated Samskrita Bharati whose mission is to revive Sanskrit as a spoken language, has been chosen to chair a new High Powered Committee for the Promotion of Indian Languages, according to a circular issued on Monday by the Education Ministry.

The member-secretary of the committee will be the Vice-chancellor of the Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University, an institution that will also provide secretarial assistance, appoint experts, conduct workshops and house the panel for its two-year tenure.

The panel has been tasked with a mandate to “explore and recommend pathways for the holistic and multi-disciplinary growth of Indian languages as envisaged in the National Education Policy 2020”. It is also expected to advise the Ministry on revitalising existing language training and research activities.

The terms of reference for the panel stipulate that it “ensure coverage of all categories of languages — Scheduled, Endangered, Non-Scheduled, Minor, Tribal, Classical Languages, etc.”. However, two of the four current members are focussed on Sanskrit: Padma Shri awardee Mr. Shastry and the V-C of the premier Sanskrit university.

The other two ex-officio members are the Director of the Mysuru-based Central Institute of Indian Languages and a Joint Secretary from the Education Ministry. “Other members may be nominated by the Ministry on the recommendation of the chairman of the committee,” said the circular.

Prime importance in NEP

Sanskrit has been given prime importance in the NEP 2020, a policy document which mentions the language 23 times, while other Indian languages get one or two mentions each. The NEP recommends that Sanskrit “be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an important, enriching option for students, including as an option in the three-language formula”.

Mr. Shastry, who is based in Thanjavur, “has modernised the Sanskrit pedagogy through his three decades of consistent efforts and has brought Sanskrit back to everyday life as a vibrant communicative language”, according to his own website.

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