Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit as official language’


SANSKRIT is one of the greatest languages of the world. Though many would think it to be dead language, it is very much alive because a large number of people use it for communication even today.
Chamu Krishana Shastry, 47, is among the distinguished scholars who have devoted their life to promote the language. Shastry heads Sanskrit Bharati which he set up in 1981 in Delhi to teach Sanskrit to students of all ages. He spoke to RC Ganjoo about his love for the language and his mission. Excerpts:

What made you take up promotion of Sanskrit among the young?
It is an admitted fact that Sanskrit is the most scientific language. It promotes scientific temper.
It is said that Sanskrit is the language of a particular religion`85

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

Sanskrit was appreciated by some of the Muslim rulers of India who patronised it, and, in some cases (as in Bengal and Gujarat), had their epigraphic records inscribed in Sanskrit. It was the scientific and secular aspect of Sanskrit that made the Arabs

welcome Indian scholars to Baghdad to discourse on sciences and to translate books in these subjects into Arabic.
In the days of Buddhists studies in China, when Indian Sanskrit scholars were translating Buddhist texts into Chinese with the help of boards of local scholars, there existed a school of Sanskrit studies in China.
A large mass of literature in Sanskrit was not produced by any particular community.Several instances can be quoted of non-Brahmin and non-Hindu authors who have made significant contribution to Sanskrit literature. In Karnataka, 300 Sanskrit schools are being run by non-Brahmins.

What is to be done to promote this language?
It is necessary that there should be a full and free study of Sanskrit in India to enable us to understand its net contribution to general philosophical thought and science.
Interestingly, Dr Ambedkar himself wanted to sponsor Sanskrit as the official language of the Indian union along with his supporters Dr BV Keskar, deputy minister for external affairs, and Naziruddin Ahmed. He moved an amendment draft on September 10, 1949. The resolution had to be withdrawn due to political pressure. Our demand is Sanskrit should be treated at par with modern Indian languages of the Eighth Schedule and not as a classical language.

What is the contribution of Sanskrit Bharti ?
Sanskrit Bharati has taught 40 lakh people to speak in Sanskrit. We have applied new and simple methods in our Sanskrit-speaking courses. Three villages, two in Karnataka and one in MP, speak Sanskrit.We have also launched an awareness campaign to preserve 45 lakh manuscripts written in Sanskrit and other languages.
Reporter Young India
R C GANJOO






Heavy rains lash Hyderabad; three people, including four-month-old baby, killed


Hyderabad: A four-month-old boy and his father were among three persons killed in rain-related incidents in the city lashed by heavy rain on Monday evening.

While the child and his father died in a wall collapse, another man was electrocuted, the police said.

According to Sheikhpet Mandal Revenue Officer S Ramulu, the child and his father got buried under the debris of a retaining wall that collapsed on their thatched house at Naidu Nagar at around 5:30 pm due to heavy rains.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

The court, however, said the poll outcome will be subject to its final decision in the pending petition of Tuseed who has challenged the University Election Commission's order rejecting his nomination for the polls. "The result for the post of the president be declared as per schedule.

The high court had in an interim order on 8 September allowed Tuseed to contest the DUSU elections while setting aside the 7 September order of DU Chief Election Officer. "The petitioner (Tuseed) is permitted to participate in the election of the DUSU for the post of president. He is also permitted to campaign for the said post. The result of the election will, however, not be declared, it will be kept in a sealed cover. Subject to the final outcome of the writ petition, final, the result will be declared," it had then said. During the day's hearing, the university's counsel sought modification of the court's order saying polling was done by EVM comprising one control unit. He said that partial counting was not possible in the machine and it will not be able to complete the counting and the election process. The court noted that the plea was not opposed by Tuseed's counsel. Tuseed, who has filed the petition through advocate Nikhil Bhalla and Harsh Bawa, challenged the decision to reject his nomination for the post of president. The court had listed for 28 September, his main petition challenging the rejection of his nomination on grounds of disciplinary action. The high court had earlier posed searching questions to the DU for rejecting the nomination of the Congress-affiliate NSUI's presidential candidate. It had asked the university how a warning given to a student by a college could be termed as disciplinary action taken against him. "The petitioner says he was warned by Shivaji College and it was not a disciplinary action which this court is finding to be true. I don't understand how can it be a disciplinary action. By no stretch of the imagination, it can be put as a disciplinary action," the judge had said. The court had also said that DU was "stigmatising" the student by rejecting his nomination. The petition was opposed by DU saying it was not maintainable and the university has been wrongly made a party.





Gauri Lankesh murdered: Karnataka govt sends report to home ministry on journalist's killing


Chennai: Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who is leading 21 party legislators, on Tuesday said he would work towards bringing down the K Palaniswamy government.
"You (Chief Minister Palaniswamy) and others have no moral right to sit in positions of power that was once wielded by Jayalalithaa. We will send this government home," Dinakaran told a press conference.He was reacting shortly after the merged AIADMK factions adopted a resolution revoking the appointment of his aunt VK Sasikala as AIADMK general secretary and his appointment as deputy general secretary at the party's general council meeting.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

"This is not a valid general council meeting. Only the party general secretary can call a meeting of the general council meeting," Dhinakaran said..


He said even when around 500 members of the general council want a meeting of the council, it is the general secretary who has to call the meeting. Dhinakaran said the Madras High Court on Monday has said the decisions of the meeting are subject to its final judgement in a case filed against the holding of the meeting. Citing the resolution that states that the party members cannot visualise anybody else as general secretary other than the late J Jayalalithaa, he wondered whether the same logic would also apply to the chief minister's post? Dhinakaran said it was Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who broke away from the party and was instrumental in the Election Commission freezing the party's 'two leaves' symbol. "Our workers and the public have been raising the question about the continuation of this government, which is not in tune with Jayalaithaa's principles. They (ruling faction) are afraid of facing elections. They can't even get back deposits, but the MLAs are with them because of a false fear about facing elections," he said. "After sending this government home, we will work to restore Jayalalithaa's government." Dinakaran said, "DMK is our main challenger and we'll fight against them, and win the elections. The ruling faction is spreading falsehood that we are in alignment with DMK." Following the death of Jayalalithaa, the party split into three factions led by Sasikala, Palaniswami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam. The Election Commission froze the party's 'two leaves' election symbol due to competing claims. Last month, the factions led by Palaniswamy and Panneerselvam merged. The merged group held a general council meeting on Tuesday morning and voted to oust Sasikala as general secretary. Sasikala, a long-time aide of Jayalalithaa, is in jail in a corruption case. The general council meeting was held at a time when the opposition led by the DMK has accused the AIADMK government led by Palaniswamy of having lost the majority in the assembly and demanded that it prove its majority on the floor of the house. On Sunday, after urging Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to convene the Assembly within a week, DMK working president MK Stalin said 21 legislators belonging to the Dhinakaran faction are opposed to Chief Minister Palaniswamy. In the 235-member Assembly, there are 234 members, including one nominated member without voting rights. One seat remains vacant following the death of Jayalalithaa last year. Effectively, the number of legislators with voting rights in the Assembly is 233. The number of legislators opposed to the government is 119, including the DMK and allies with 98 and Dhinakaran faction's 21.






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Jammu: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that India will "ensure" that Pakistan is forced to end ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

Addressing a media conference in Jammu, Rajnath Singh said, "Since 2014 Pakistan has violated the ceasefire agreement 400 times. "We will ensure that Pakistan is forced to stop these ceasefire violations," he asserted.

The home minister, who is on the fourth and last day of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, also announced that any civilian killed or injured in cross border firing with 50 percent or more disability would be given monetary support of Rs 5 lakh.
He said: "For the last four days I have been visiting Jammu and Kashmir. I went to Nowshera yesterday where thousands of people were present.
"I met BSF jawans and also those of the army there. After meeting the people in Nowshera, I have felt that these people are the strategic assets of the country. Their spirit and nationalism makes all Indians proud.
"Despite ceasefire violations, they continue to live at the borders. Their contribution in protecting the borders of the country is immense. Sixty safety bunkers have been constructed for border residents and more will be constructed."
The Union home minister said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is an autonomous investigating agency and no government in power should intervene in its working.
"NIA is an independent, autonomous organization and they are acting according to the law of the land. No government should intervene in the working of this agency," Singh said.
The minister was answering a question on the NIA crackdown on Kashmiri separatists in connection with the terror funding case being investigated by the anti-terror agency.
Speaking on the presence of Rohingya refugees in Jammu, Singh said the Rohingya refugees living in Jammu city are illegal migrants.
"Rohingyas living in Jammu are illegal migrants, and I do not rule out security threat due to their presence," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a state BJP leaders delegation that met the Union home minister demanded that the over 4,500 Rohingya Muslims living in Jammu should be sent back.
Answering a question on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's statement blaming the BJP for destroying the image of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and also the alleged failure of the Narendra Modi government to control separatist violence in the state, Rajnath Singh said, "We do not believe in blaming anybody, otherwise we know what happened in Kashmir in 1989.





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Helping animals is not just about doing something for them, it is an attitude and a value system. And there is no better place to begin an examination of our treatment of fellow creatures than by our language.
Let's begin with the word, animal. One of the dictionary definitions for 'animal' is a bestial person; a brute. This is common usage. We are told often not to 'behave like an animal'. We hear it often enough on television or in films. In violent scenes, the victim often accuses the aggressor of being 'an animal'. Another common dialogue we often hear is, "he is an animal, he deserves to be killed."
But this exercise is hardly logical. Animals do not rape, loot or plunder. Yet, this mindless slander continues. Pig, swine, ass, rat, cat, bitch, worm are just some of the animal names that have come to connote abuses. We also use similes that have no basis in fact – pigs are not greedy, foxes are not sly nor oxen dumb, wolves do not philander and snakes do not connive. If you are silly, you are called a goose, if you love to eat you are a hog. Your stubborn streak gets compared to a mule, your cowardice makes you a chicken.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

In Hindi, even kutta or dog is considered a derogatory term. Yet dogs are among the friendliest, most loving and loyal creatures in the world. Pigs have the highest IQ of all animals. Is being vicious and beastly behaving like an animal? Animals only kill for survival and mate only to perpetuate the species.

Language is at the root of our attitudes. When you think of yourself as the owner of an animal, it confers on you the right to do with the animal as you please. Instead, refer to animals not as your property or pets but as your companions. You can buy, sell and discard a pet as a toy. Will you do the same with a companion? A person of great humanity once introduced his wife: "This is my wife… no, I am sorry, that is incorrect. This is the lady that I share my life with."
Similarly, when people ask me how many pets I have, I say none. The next question is inevitable – so there are no animals in your house. My answer is, "not counting me, my son and the people who look after us, there are 16 animals who share our house."
Animals are not pests or menaces. This word starts from being applied to cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes and now applies to any animal species whose habitats have been destroyed and who now have no option but to either enter farmlands or cities to eat. Elephants, monkeys, nilgai, vultures, crows, dogs, wolves, snakes… the media never refers to any of these animals without using the word menace – elephant menace stalks village, stray dog menace, monkey menace.
Vultures were also a menace till they simply disappeared and now scientists are going crazy trying to rebreed them as no one can clean up the countryside more effectively. Every one of these animals – including pests like the cockroach – is very important ecologically to human survival. So, do not let someone get away with these two epithets.
Another way our language desensitises us to animal suffering is by referring to them as 'it' or objects. An animal is as male or female as you and I. Do not refer to one as 'it'. Every single one including an ant is a family person – a mother, a child, a member of a clan.
Do not refer to animals by the names they are given as 'food' either. Buffalo calves are not 'katras' (animals to be cut), hens and cocks are not broilers and layers. Wild animals that are hunted down are not 'game' – killing does not qualify as a game.
Mixed breed and homeless dogs are not mongrels, pye-dogs or junglies, but Indian dogs. (They should be rated as far superior because they have not been genetically tampered with but have evolved naturally).





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Beijing: China on Tuesday said that it cannot share with India the hydrological data of the Brahmaputra river for the time being as the data collection station in Tibet is being upgraded. China, however, said it is ready to "keep communication" with India to reopen the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for the Indian pilgrims visiting Kailash and Manasarovar in Tibet, which it had suspended in mid June over the Doka La standoff. "For long time we have conducted cooperation on the river data with the Indian side. But to upgrade and renovate the relevant station in the Chinese side, we do not have the conditions now to collect the relevant statistics of the river," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media in Beijing.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

The data share by upper riparian state, China, to lower riparian states, India and Bangladesh is essential every monsoon to allow anticipation of the flow of the water and take necessary measures to deal with flooding in India's northeastern states.

"For a long China has made efforts against all odds to provide necessary convenience to the Indian pilgrims. According to the agreement reached between the two leaders and based on the fact that the western section of the India-China boundary has been recognised by the two sides, China opened the pass to the Indian pilgrims," he said, replying to a question when China will open the route to the Indian pilgrims as the Doka La standoff has been resolved. The foreign ministry spokesman said the opening of the Nathu La pass was suspended as the Indian troops "illegally crossed the border leading to the tensions at the border". "The Indian troops illegally crossed the border leading to the tensions at the border. So the opening of the pass was suspended," he said. "So China stands ready to keep communication with the Indian side in regard to the opening of the pass and other issues relating to the pilgrims," he said.





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To say that grand preparations are being made for Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Gujarat on Wednesday would be an understatement. In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe will take part in a road show in Ahmedabad. "This is for the first time in the country when our prime minister along with the prime minister of another country is doing a joint road show. The Japanese prime minister is landing here directly on 13 September. This makes the occasion more important, as he is visiting a state on the very first day of his India visit," Gujarat BJP unit president Jitubhai Vaghani told reporters. As Vaghani pointed out, this will indeed be a rare occasion when the head of a state skips New Delhi during his or her bilateral visit to India. This fact itself shows how important the Modi-Abe visit will be for BJP as far as the upcoming Gujarat election is concerned.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

As this Livemint article also points out, the Modi-Abe visit and the grand preparations for the same should be seen as the one of the first major steps BJP is taking for its campaign in the upcoming state polls. In fact, a senior BJP leader — speaking on condition of anonymity — had said in the report that BJP targeting Congress in such an intense manner showed signs of nervousness in the saffron party because Congress had been out for power in Gujarat for over 20 years now.

The pothole-ridden roads of Ahmedabad are getting a makeover and state government bureaucrats are getting new visiting cards printed for the visit, reported Business Standard. Vaghani also said that both the leaders will be accorded a "grand welcome" along the route of the road show. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said a large number of people, including singing troupes who will be performing at 28 different locations along the route, will greet Modi and Abe. "On the entire route of the the road show, which will also pass from Sabarmati Riverfront, we have erected 28 small stages where dancers from 28 different states, all dressed in their traditional attire, would showcase their performance when these leaders pass," said Patel. Apart from such extravagant preparations, some projects planned for Gujarat will also be highlighted. On Thursday, Abe and Modi will attend the ceremony for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the Bullet Train project, which will give India its first bullet train. The 508-kilometre project will entail an estimated cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore. "Out of this Rs 1,10,000 crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore and the interest on this loan is minimal, ie 0.1 percent," Goyal said. "This loan is to be repaid to Japan in 50 years. Loan repayment period of 50 years with 15 years grace." Of the 508-kilometre stretch, 92 percent of the route will be elevated, six percent in tunnel and the rest two percent will be on the ground. That is, 508-kilometre stretch will have 468 kilometres of elevated track, 27-kilometre inside tunnel and the remaining 13 kilometres on the ground. The high-speed train will also pass through the country's biggest tunnel measuring 21 kilometres, of which seven kilometres will be under the sea. On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, a total of 12 stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The distance of 508 kilometres will be covered in two hours and seven minutes by the bullet train if it stops at four stations namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. According to railway ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train will be 320 kilometres per hour and maximum speed will be 350 kilometres per hour. If the bullet train will stop at all 12 stations, then it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes.





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On Tuesday, the AIADMK announced that J Jayalalithaa would be granted title of the party's "eternal general secretary". The announcement came came during the general council and executive committee meeting called by the E Palaniswamy-led faction after the Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a plea by an MLA owing allegiance to sidelined AIADMK deputy chief TTV Dhinakaran.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

While J Jayalalithaa, who has been dead for 10 months, being bestowed this honour by the AIADMK seems to be a first in the history of Indian politics, those familiar with world history will recognise this as nothing new. Politicians have, from time immemorial, been attempting to bestow glory upon themselves.

In North Korea, a cult of personality has been carefully weaved around Kim Jong-un's family for decades. Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, who passed away in 1994, is known as the 'Eternal President of the Republic'. Talk about tenure! His father Kim Jong-Il, who clearly didn't want to left behind, held the following impressive sounding titles: Dear Leader, Supreme Leader, Our Father, The General, Generalissimo, Hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Marshal of the DPRK. We're exhausted just listing them!




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On Tuesday, the AIADMK announced that J Jayalalithaa would be granted title of the party's "eternal general secretary". The announcement came came during the general council and executive committee meeting called by the E Palaniswamy-led faction after the Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a plea by an MLA owing allegiance to sidelined AIADMK deputy chief TTV Dhinakaran.

File image of Gauri Lankesh. PTI

While J Jayalalithaa, who has been dead for 10 months, being bestowed this honour by the AIADMK seems to be a first in the history of Indian politics, those familiar with world history will recognise this as nothing new. Politicians have, from time immemorial, been attempting to bestow glory upon themselves.

In North Korea, a cult of personality has been carefully weaved around Kim Jong-un's family for decades. Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, who passed away in 1994, is known as the 'Eternal President of the Republic'. Talk about tenure! His father Kim Jong-Il, who clearly didn't want to left behind, held the following impressive sounding titles: Dear Leader, Supreme Leader, Our Father, The General, Generalissimo, Hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Marshal of the DPRK. We're exhausted just listing them!