Sanskrit Bharati, the country'sreputed organisation engaged in teaching Sanskrit through simple means for the last 24 years, was honoured with Baba Saheb Apte Birth Centenary National Sanskrit Award on September 29 in Amritsar. The award, which consists of a cash prize of Rs 51,000 and a citation, was presented by RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan. The award was received jointly by Shri Chamu Krishan Shastri, a renowned Sanskrit scholar, Dr Chandkiran Saluja, president, Sanskrit Bharati, Delhi, and Prof. R. Chandran, general secretary, Sanskrit Bharati, Tamil Nadu, on behalf of the organisation.
Sanskrit Bharati, established about 24 years ago in Karnataka, now has branches all over India and also in other parts of the world including Asia, Europe and North America. The organisation is best known for its innovative Ten-Day Sanskrit-Speaking Camps. More than three and a half million people have already participated in such camps, which involve a two-hour practice session daily. Besides these camps, the organisation also holds programmes to provide training to those, who act as facilitators for these camps. Thirty thousand master trainers have been trained so far. The organisation has also published a number of books, audiocassettes and computer CDs to provide practical tools for learning Sanskrit. One hundred sixty-four whole-time volunteers of Sanskrit Bharati are working all over the country and carrying out various activities aimed at making Sanskrit the spoken language of the masses in India.
Sanskrit Bharati honoured with Baba Saheb Apte Award
Baba Saheb Apte was the first Pracharak of RSS. He dedicated his life to restore the pristine glory of Sanskrit. He firmly believed that Sanskrit scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata were not the works of fiction but a sequential record of the development of Hindu thoughts, philosophy and culture. The entire achievement of people of India since ancient times in the fields of science, religion, economics, medicines and social sciences have been documented in Sanskrit. So preservation, growth and propagation of this language is essential not only to maintain our linkage with our glorious heritage but also to charter our path for future. Baba Saheb Apte Samarak Samiti has been set up to carry forward the work of this great nationalist and freedom fighter. The Samiti is working to encourage research and recording of original Indian literature and history to highlight the glorious past of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri K.S. Sudarshan said Baba Saheb Apte introduced the chanting of Sanskrit shlokas in RSS meetings. ?This marked the first step in revival of Sanskrit in the country. Baba Saheb believed that an undercurrent of unity flowed in our nation despite the so-called disparities and Sanskrit was one uniting factor for the country. Sanskrit is the source of the most languages of India and up to 70 per cent of our dialect comes from Sanskrit. Apteji wanted that Sanskrit should be the national language of India. Even Baba Saheb Ambedkar supported this contention,? he said, adding that it was a British conspiracy to delink people from Sanskrit and drive them towards learning English. ?This cut off the masses from our heritage. Vast scientific knowledge is contained in Sanskrit scriptures. Now with the shifting of focus to this language, these age-old scientific principles defined by our people in the past are now coming to surface,? he added.
Shri Sudarshan stressed the need for teaching Sanskrit in all schools. ?Sanskrit sambhashan is needed. Teaching people to speak Sanskrit will turn children to start writing it. This award is a step to encourage people to start learning this language because future of India is enshrined in this language,? he concluded. During his tour to Punjab the Sarsanghachalak also visited Jalianwala Bagh and paid tributes to the martyrs. Before Shri Sudarshan, Shri C.M. Krishan Shastri moved the audience with his speech in simple Sanskrit. It was after his speech that many audience realised that Sanskrit was not difficult to speak or understand.