The BJP loses no opportunity, to teach the country new lessons in being Indian. HRD minister Smiti Irani has yet again proved that the BJP’s sectarian political beliefs and biased language preferences are the biggest inspiration behind the current government’s education policy. The minister has requested the IIT’s to teach Sanskrit!
After this news, the Twitterati has erupted with witticisms. While one tweet asks the minister what thermodynamics would be called in Sanskrit. Another one gave the government a good drubbing by suggesting that Irani’s move was prompted by the vision to equip the students with sanskrit, after they would have invented a time machine, to go in the past.
Apart from the logic and logistics of the suggestion, both of which are highly debatable, fact is that many local cultures and social movements throughout the history of India have upheld their local languages as opposed to Sanskrit. For these people, their own language is a symbol of their culture, self-pride and expression. The minister therefore, should have been mindful of the lack of consensus over Sanskrit as an important medium of learning, since this argument fails the test of the popular mandate of the country.
Karnataka is a good example in terms of a modern and nuanced education policy. The Karnataka Knowledge Commission has prepared a policy to exclusively cater to the primary, higher, vocational and advanced research levels of the state. This policy looks at the modernization of classroom teaching and future economic scenario.So instead of going back in time, the minister needs to look forward.