Sunday, November 30, 2008

Strange How Sanskrit is Valued Outside India?

By Express News Service 29 Nov 2008 04:39:00 AM IST

Revered abroad, dumped in its homeland

BANGALORE: Considered the mother of all languages, Sanskrit is popular in many countries, but for its motherland. Foreigners who take to yoga and Ayurveda learn Sanskrit to get a better grip of the two. Indians settled abroad seek it for their wards so that they may remain rooted to their culture and ethos.In sum it means Sanskrit teachers are in demand abroad.

Vasuvaj of Samskrita Bharati, Bangalore, explained that the interest abroad is not just for Sanskrit as a spoken language, but for scholarly reading and writing in that language too.The School of Philosophy, a non-profit organisation, runs spiritual courses for people in Toronto. The organisation also runs 11 regular schools for children at various places, including the St James Independent School for Boys in England and John Scootes School in Dublin, Ireland. Students here learn Sanskrit as a compulsory subject.Samskrita Bharati conducts short-term courses for students studying in these schools. The Vice Principal of John Scootes School, Rutger himself is on a year’s study leave - learning Sanskrit.

Many countries across the world including Israel, France and Russia have published Sanskrit books.In contrast, the scenario here seems to be quite the opposite. Sanskrit is taught as first and third language subjects in high schools in Karnataka. Sanskrit scholars say that though there is a huge interest for learning the language, many government schools do not have Sanskrit teachers. There is not a single teacher to teach Sanskrit as third language.A handful of them are available to teach it as first language.“Many students in government schools are forced to opt for Kannada as first language because they don’t have an option,” a retired Sanskrit teacher said.Sanskrit lecturers too are few in number and many government colleges go without them. The few students who study Sanskrit in high school are therefore, left without any option when they enter college.

Making of Sanskrit University

It looks like the dream of having a Sanskrit university in the state is on the fast road to becoming a reality, with the appointment of Mallepuram G Venkatesh as special officer for the Karnataka State Sanskrit University. The government had earmarked Rs two crore for establishing the varsity, in the 2008-09 budget.In India there are only six Sanskrit universities and the one in the state will be the seventh.Venkatesh told The Express that the varsity was still in the fledging stages. The first phase of discussions with scholars is over. “We will visit other universities across the country to study the pro and cons,” he said.The basic idea of the university is to bring all the existing Sanskrit colleges under a single roof.However, when contacted, Chandrashekharaiah, president of the State Sanskrit Teachers Association, said that so far none from the university had contacted him.“They should taken our suggestions too,” Chandrashekharaiah added.Ramachandrapura Mutt had plans to establish a private Sanskrit varsity in Hosanagara of Shimoga district. But, it is yet to become a reality.
© Copyright 2008 ExpressBuzz

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One More Indian to be Proud Of!

Mary Kom gets fourth consecutive World Championship gold
29 Nov 2008, 1420 hrs IST, PTI

NINGBO CITY: India's MC Mary Kom (46kg) re-asserted her status as the world's most successful woman boxer clinching an unprecedented fourth successiv

In a repeat of the previous World Championship final in New Delhi, the 25-year-old out-punched Romania's Steluta Duta 7-1 to grab India's only gold medal at the event. The other Indian finalist, N Usha (57kg) had to be content with a silver for the second successive time after she lost 1-6 to Chinese Qin Jian. The defending champions, who were here with a small seven-member contingent, thus finished the tournament with a haul of one gold, a silver and two bronze medals -- through Chhoto Laura (50kg) and L Sarita Devi (52kg), who lost in the semi-finals on Friday. Though she couldn't ensure that the team retained the overall title, Mary Kom was once again the star of the show for India. The Manipuri boxer remained away from the ring for two years to take care of her twin babies after completing a hat-trick of World Championship golds in New Delhi. The pint-sized pugilist returned to don the gloves this year at the Asian Championships in September where she failed to retain her gold and settled for a silver. She claimed the National title earlier this month before leaving for the World Championship to achieve the spectacular feat.