My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sanskrit must rule

Sanskrit..oh Sanskrit..When will you finally leave us alone? Sanskrit is like Natwar Singh. Despite so many setbacks including personal losses, they keep lingering around. My hate-hate relationship with Sanskrit started when I was in class VII. As my father relocated, I had to get admitted in a school that taught Sanskrit as a compulsory since class V. My first year with Sanskrit was spent wondering who the f*** could think of so many forms for a single verb. What kind of dope was available in Vedic times and what was his family situation? Was he a never-getting-it-at-night dude who took his revenge on society by creating Lat, Lan, Lot, Vidhilin, Lut, Lrit, Lrin, Lit, Lun, Aashis etc…However all seemingly hard things have an easy solution, and I came against Sanskrit with flying colors by mugging one line answers to even shorter questions. And when in class IX, we parted ways, I jumped for joy.
But, those were the days of the 90s. The secular congress government had a 15min Sanskrit news show on Doordarshan. Indian IT sector had just started ramping up and countless Indians were made to believe by the media and misplaced secular government propaganda that Sanskrit is oh so suitable for computers. In 2005, hardly anyone dreams of rewriting SAP, Oracle, Windows in Sanskrit. Imagine writing a simple if-then-else statement in Sanskrit and out will come the Lat, Lot, Lrit and all the other ‘L’s. And what chance did Sanskrit have in these BPO-call center days, when even the mighty Queen's English is taken as an indicator for a call center worker. But every now and then, one hears a weak voice asking for thrusting Sanskrit forcibly onto Indians. And often the target bakra for Sanskrit are the students who don’t vote anyways.
But I agree with the Sanskrit supporters. Why, you may ask? Why continue pampering a language that was abandoned by the masses thousands of years ago (in favor of Pali, Prakrit)? Because it’s the economy, stupid. Sanskrit is not used for day to day purposes; so its ineffectiveness in supporting clear communication doesn’t hinder the economic activities. At the same time look at the number of jobs and income it creates (Sanskrit teachers, Sanskrit books, Priests for chanting Sanskrit mumbo-jumbo etc.). And Sansrkit is sometimes uber cool: say “ass” in English and say the same thing in Sanskrit (Paschatdesh). Way to go, Sanskrit; especially now that I am out of your clutches.

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