Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Sanskrit Deserves Independent TV Channel

Indian Constitution in its 8th Schedule under languages recognized 22 languages as Official Languages. Each language in 8th schedule has their Native State where the particular language is spoken as Mother Tongue. Sanskrit is one of the languages recognized as Official Language though the language does not have any particular State where it is spoken as MT.  However, Sanskrit has a significant place in each State and each language has a connection with Sanskrit. Almost all the languages recognized under schedule 8 have their independent language TV channel. Moreover, they have their own Educational TV channels also. But, Sanskrit does not have a separate TV channel though it deserves to have one. Why should Sanskrit have a separate and committed TV channel? What is the size of population to be benefited by this effort? Is it necessary to have a TV channel for Sanskrit? These are the questions to be answered convincingly. India has population of 120 crores. Out of this population TV viewers could approximately be 70 crores. Among this population above adolescents and below the age of 30 would be 20 crores. Rest of the population would be above the age group of above 30. If we suppose that 5% of this population would view Sanskrit TV programmes, and 3% of adolescents and below 30 age group views, then the figure comes about 3.1 crores. This figure is arrived at taking minimum possibility of Sanskrit channel viewers in to account. If we calculate on the maximum possibility, there would be a steep increase in this figure. How did this figure arrive at? Except Tamilnadu and the NES, almost all the states offer Sanskrit either as a compulsory or as optional language in their school curriculum. Some States offer Sanskrit as composite curriculum with other languages such as Andhra Pradesh. This way approximately the secondary and senior secondary school going population of India would be 3.05 crores. Out of this, if we calculate on the minimum possibility of the population who opted Sanskrit either as compulsory or optional language, then this figure would be 25 lacs. If we take into account the population of Higher Education, out of 2 crores population of HE, the minimum possibility of Sanskrit learners would be 1 to 3 lacs. In addition to this, there are Traditional Sanskrit Pathashalas, Gurukulas, Sanskrit Colleges spread all over India. Further, there are 15 Sanskrit Universities established in India. In Rajasthan alone every year about 23000 students appear in traditional Sanskrit Annual Exam of Rajasthan Sanskrit University, where at secondary level almost 2 lacs students opt Sanskrit and in traditional stream about 60000 students study Shastras. Furthermore, the Sanskrit knowing elders or the Sanskrit lovers and those who are interested in Sanskrit literature in general and religious literature in particular such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavadgeeta etc., would constitute a figure of 3.1 crore arrived at earlier. Of course, there is population of intellectuals who serve in various fields such as Science, Management, and Technology etc., also contribute to this population of Sanskrit viewers though that would be less in number, yet this bears immense importance as this is the serious population that approaches Sanskrit as a language of origin for various modern theories and principles.

At present DD National telecast a Five Minutes News Bulletin every day and DD Jnan Darshan telecasts 2 hours programme of Sanskrit every day that too the second one hour being the repetition of the earlier one hour. The UGC has started an ambitious plan of making available all the curriculum contents of Higher Education through a TV channel. MHRD, Govt. of India has initiated a major project of making available the good teaching to every students of HE in audio-video form. The School Education wing also began a programme known as Sakshat wherein all the subjects and languages would be made available on the NET. These programmes include Sanskrit Language and Literature also for the indented HE and Secondary Education population of Sanskrit learning. If the States of Goa and Jammu and Kashmir with a population of just 16 lacs and 1.5 crores respectively can have a TV channel in India, why not a separate TV channel for Sanskrit, which has probable viewers of 3.1 crores. Further, Sanskrit TV channel would also cater to the need of more than 250 foreign Universities and institutions wherein Sanskrit is taught as a language and Indology source including the famous Universities of Stanford, Oxford and Pennsylvania.

Further the language, contents and the hidden treasure available in Sanskrit facilitate scientific, technological and humanities research and augment their pace. The TV channel will also cater to the need of the religious population without the knowledge of Sanskrit and an opportunity to enjoy the original sources. The channel will help to understand religious rites in a proper manner. The channel if organized and coordinated in a proper way would minimize the fake religious claims and dogmas. This will also help Yoga learning in a right way with the help of original resources so that the improper business of selling Yoga as a commodity could be checked and to adopt real Yoga as a life style. The field of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Linguistics would be facilitated by this channel. Sanskrit language had many Grammarians who actually contributed for the development of Linguistics such as Patanjali and Bhartrihari. Their principles of Linguistics are appreciated by the contemporary international Linguists like Noam Chomsky, George Carodona and others. This way this channel would be very helpful for Indian as well as global population for the reasons that it would
  1. Cater to the need of Sanskrit learners.
  2. Facilitate the general public to enjoy the original readings in Sanskrit
  3. Help to inculcate morality
  4. Be useful in differentiating and understanding dogmas and blind beliefs
  5. Augment the research in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Linguistics
  6. Help in understanding scientific and technological principles
  7. Help to analyze the theories of Humanities and compare them with the modern theories
  8. Help to learn Sanskrit language through spoken Sanskrit courses telecast
  9. Help in understanding Human Rites (Manava Samskaras) from Impregnation to Funeral
  10. Facilitate the development of regional languages and some foreign languages such as Thai
  11. Help to promote the vocabulary of regional languages
  12. Help in finding appropriate terminology in Hindi and other regional languages
  13. Promote the art of translation
  14. Be of great help in protecting our culture, heritage and history

These are only illustrative benefits of Sanskrit TV channel. In 1956-57 the first Sanskrit Commission constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr.Suniti Kumar Chatterjee made a series of recommendations for the promotion of Sanskrit. However, the later Governments did not implement those recommendations in total. In this circumstance, a Second Sanskrit Commission has been constituted by the previous Government under the Chairmanship of Jnanapeetha Recipient Prof.Satyavrat Shastri, which is yet to swing into action. Let the Commission do its job, but the Union Government without waiting for the recommendations of the Commission, launch a new, dedicated, committed, sincere and serious independent TV channel for Sanskrit. Let us hope that this wish of Indian and global population would be met soon.


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