M. Venkaiah Naidu
M. Venkaiah Naidu

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for a mass movement to revive Sanskrit learning where all the stakeholders should contribute to the re-discovery of India’s rich classical literature and cultural heritage. “A language cannot be preserved only by Constitutional provisions or Governmental assistance or protection,” he said.

Addressing the 9th Convocation and Decennial Ceremony of Karnataka Samskrit University in Bengaluru today, the Vice President said that a language lives and gets propagated if it is valued by families, communities and educational institutions. Referring to the rapid technological changes, he said that technology has opened up new opportunities to preserve and propagate our classical languages including Sanskrit. “Digitalization of ancient manuscripts, epigraphs and inscriptions, recording of the recitation of Vedas, publishing books bringing out the meaning and significance of ancient Sanskrit treatises would be some of the ways to preserve our culture embedded in Sanskrit texts,” he added.

Calling Sanskrit as an intangible heritage of our country, the Vice President said that it has been the fountainhead of our knowledge and literary traditions. “Sanskrit helps us understand the soul of India. If one has to understand the Indian worldview one has to learn Sanskrit,” he emphasised. Shri Naidu further opined that to appreciate the literary genius of Indian poets and to research on the civilisational richness of our great country, one has to be a student of Sanskrit.

The Vice President underscored that the usage of Sanskrit was not limited only to philosophical and religious subjects, rather there are a number of treatises in Sanskrit on a wide range of subjects like ayurveda, yoga, agriculture, metallurgy, astronomy, state craft and ethics, which have contemporary relevance. He asked the students to explore these areas of knowledge and discover new facets of our ancient texts.

Observing that India is a country with multiple languages, Shri Naidu said that we are fortunate to have this rich linguistic diversity since earliest times. He said that our ancient languages and their literature have contributed immensely to India attaining the prestigious status of being the “Vishwa Guru” and emphasized the need for preserving these linguistic treasures. The Vice President highlighted that Sanskrit has a special place in our cultural landscape as most of the Indian languages have originated from it. “We can appreciate the Indian ethos and the deep cultural connection that binds all Indians if we learn Sanskrit.  It is the language that brings us together,” he stressed.

Praising the critical role of institutions like Karnataka Samskrit University in preservation of classical languages, he urged the universities to engage in active research on the ancient texts and make the research outcomes relevant to the contemporary world. Shri Naidu also called for efforts to preserve the rich literature of all six Classical Indian languages namely, Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia.

Describing Karnataka as the land of great saints and thinkers like Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanujacharya, Sri Madhvacharya and Sri Basaweshara, Shri Naidu praised the state for preserving its ancient treasures of knowledge and wisdom.

On this occasion, the Vice President also honoured three eminent scholars – Acharya Pradyumna, Dr. V.S. Indiramma and Vidwan Umakanta Bhat – with honorary doctoral degrees.

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Governor of Karnataka and the Chancellor of the Karnataka Sanskrit University, Professor K. E. Devanathan ji,  the Vice Chancellor of Karnataka Sanskrit University, Members of the Governing Bodies of the University, teachers, students and their parents were among those who attended the event.

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