Sanskrit- from Vedas to IT!

... Until the early 1980's, villagers in Mattur spoke the state's regional language, Kannada as well as Tamil. "Then there was a movement in favour of Sanskrit. Sanskrit had been criticised as the language of the Upper Caste Brahmins and was suddenly displaced from the pedestal with Kannada," said Prof. M. B. Srinidhi, a resident of Mattur. "The pontiff of the local religious centre, Pejawar Mutt gave a call to make Mattur, a Sanskrit speaking village. It took just 2 hours daily for 10 days for the entire village to start conversing in Sanskrit," he added. Since then, Sanskrit is being spoken by one and all, even by those belonging to the socially disadvantaged sections of the village.

Enter Mattur, and every conversation that you hear is soft and sweet-sounding like a Vedic recital. One is greeted with "bhavati naam kim?" (What is your name?), "coffee ya chayam kim ichchhati bhavan?" (What will you have, coffee or tea?) Exchange of pleasantries takes place by saying "Hari Om" and "Katham Asti" instead of "Hello" and "How are you?" Everybody including men, women, children, literate or illiterate, speaks Sanskrit fluently. Even the Muslims speak Sanskrit as comfortably as Hindus. Children are also found reciting Sanskrit verses on the streets, conversing effortlessly in Sanskrit while quarrelling or playing cricket. Everyone speaks Sanskrit for their day to day use and not only during pujas. It is the language of the civilians in this village.

As daily life revolves around Sanskrit in Mattur, people wearing jeans and T-shirt, speaking on a cell phone or riding a bike, using various electrical appliances are seen exchanging thoughts in fluent Sanskrit. This makes one wonder as to how easy or difficult it is for the villagers to enjoy the comforts originated in the West while assiduously following their culture.

…Why Sanskrit? What are those thought provoking facts? To know all this and further more, read the complete article in the Sept'16 edition of English Akhand Gyan Monthly Magazine.

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