PIL against Sanskrit Week Celebrations Will Not Be Entertained, Says Madras HC

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Wednesday declined to entertain a PIL on the issue of Sanskrit Week celebrations. This has been done a month after the controversy has erupted over this issue.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan explained, “It’s an experiment being carried out by the CBSE to find out if the Sanskrit language can be encouraged by such a methodology.” Pointing out that the CBSE circular used the word “may”, they said, “Interference of judiciary probably may not be appropriate.”

The PIL of advocate P. Pugalenthi said that the director (academics, innovation, training, and research) of the CBSE issued the ‘impugned circular on June 30 based on a false premise that Sanskrit was the mother of all languages.’

The CBSE circular mentioned, “In its endeavour to promote Sanskrit, schools affiliated to CBSE may celebrate Sanskrit Week in an experiential way by conducting activities connected to the real world. Objective of celebrating Sanskrit Week may be to provide an opportunity to students, teachers and schools to come forth, share their knowledge of Sanskrit and learn it from each other. Celebration of this week would provide a medium for promoting Sanskrit and encouraging interest in it by increasing awareness about the close relationship between Sanskrit and other languages and cultural heritage of India. This Sanskrit Week in schools may encourage linguistic creativity among students and to provide an opportunity to benefit from the systematic structure of Sanskrit language, which may be transferred in giving insights into all language learning.”

Pugalenthi opposed it and said that the crux of the communication was nothing but imposition of Sanskrit in the young minds of children by means of inculcation of a false idea that learning Sanskrit would enable the students to learn other languages effortlessly.

As the matter was brought forth, M Radhakrishnan, the counsel for the petitioner said that the language could not be forced on students of the state.

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