Classical language, a living tradition World Sanskrit Book Fair in Bengaluru
Report in Organiser By Rajesh Padmar, VSK Bengaluru
THE world’s first of its kind World Sanskrit Book Fair held at National High School Grounds in Bengaluru from January 7 to 10 has been a big success in terms of both to imbue spirit of Sanskrit enthusiasm at all levels and the number of book sold, along with a massive presence of Sanskrit lovers in the four-day historic event. More than 8,000 delegates from 24 states of India participated in the event. Around 500 Sanskrit speaking camps were organised in Bengaluru city by which 10,000 people were benefited.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa inaugurated the event organised by various organisations led by Samskrit Bharati. Scholars from about 14 Sanskrit universities, 5 Sanskrit Academies, 18 Oriental Research Institutes, National Manuscript Mission, Samskrit Bharati, International Institute of Sanskrit Studies, Paris, various NGOs, scholars and lovers of Sanskrit from all parts of India participated in the fair.
Inaugurating the Book Fair and the associated Rashtriya Sanskrit Sammelan Shri Yeddyurappa said that Sanskrit is a rich language with a great heritage. If we lose Sanskrit, we lose nothing other than our culture and tradition. Sanskrit represented the deep-rooted wisdom and knowledge of Indian culture. The Karnataka government has been supporting the language for the last two years and is promoting it in majority of the universities, he said. He also assured support of the State Government in Sanskrit related activities. “The already established Sanskrit University will be strengthened with more facilities,” he added.
For having made Sanskrit as second official language of Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” was honoured during the occasion. Speaking at the event Dr Pokhriyal reminded the great heritage as well as the contributions of Sanskrit to the ancient world which still has not lost its relevance yet. We should be proud of our ancient Sanskrit contributions, let’s spread awareness around the world about the same, he said. He pointed out that two cities in Uttarakhand are to be declared as ‘Sanskrit Cities’, where even a lay man can communicate with each other through Sanskrit.
Former Chief Justice of India Justice Shri MN Venkatachalaiah presided over the inaugural event. He said Dr BR Ambedkar’s perspective of Sanskrit being the national language was reported in 1947. “Unfortunately the great language could not have that place after India became republic for some other causes. Sanskirt teachers should get good remuneration so that Sanskrit education provides not only life but also living,” he said.
Earlier, former Indian cricket captain Shri Anil Kumble inaugurated the Jnanaganga, an exhibition showcasing the knowledge heritage of India by lighting a ceremonial lamp. Sanskruta Gramaha, a model of the working Sanskrit village was inaugurated with the ringing of a bell by Vishwshwara Hegade Kageri, Education Minister of Karnataka. Shri Kumble mentioned that he is an ardent lover of Sanskrit. “Sanskrit is the foundation of all languages. It was indeed heart-warming and an eye-opener to visit this fair. What Sanskrit has donated to our world is astonishing. I am honoured and humbled to be a part of this cause. It’s like comparing T20 and normal cricket. Sanskrit is the foundation of all languages. I hope to speak in Sanskrit someday,” he said.
At the concluding ceremony of the event, Shri Dinesh Kamath, national organising secretary of Samskrit Bharati said once Sanskrit was considered to be one in the list of dead languages, now it is no more a dead language. Sanskrit has come up with the efforts of many to a considerable level. From sports to arts and news to debates, Sanskrit has a presence. For countable population of Urdu, if an Urdu channel is possible, why can’t there be a Sanskrit channel for a large population? Samkritam Sarvathram (Sanskrit everywhere) is my wish,” he said.
Former Chief Election Commissioner Shri N Gopalaswamy, Union Minister for State in Human Resources and Development Dr Purandareshwari, noted Kannada Scholar Shri G Venkatasubbaiah, former justice Shri Rama Jois, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court Shri R C Lahoti, Dr Dayanand Pai, industrialist, Shri Arun Ramarathnam, technology enthusiast and Wikipedia, Dr MM Alex, director IAITR, Chennai, Sri Roddam Narasimha, eminent scientist, Shri S Gurumurthy, economic consultant and columnist, Chennai, Shri Narendra Kohli, eminent Hindi writer and novelist along with RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, RSS veterans like Shri K Suryanarayan Rao, Dr Manmohan Vaidya, Shri MC Jaidev and several others were also present during the event.