Language serves to divide but can also unite: president of the linguistic panel of the Center

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The newly appointed chairman of the high-level committee of the Center for the Promotion of Indian Languages ​​believes the language has been “used as a tool” by politicians to achieve their goals, but should help bridge the gaps and unite people.

Chamu Krishna Shastry, founding member of RSS affiliate Samskrita Bharati, had been a language advisor at the Ministry of Human Resources Development during Smriti Irani’s tenure. He resigned months after Prakash Javadekar replaced Irani.

In 2017, Shastry received the Padma Shri for his contribution to literature and education.

On November 15, the Ministry of Education appointed Shastry as chairman of the high-level committee for the promotion of Indian languages. The other members of the committee are the vice-chancellor of the Sanskrit National University Lal Bahadur Shastri, the director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages ​​and the co-secretary of the Ministry for Languages. Shastry told The Indian Express that if he recognizes that language is a sensitive subject in India, “there should be no hatred for any language.”

“There are regional aspirations. Language was a tool for politicians to advance their interests. The language is also attached to domination. We will have to rise above it all. Language should not be used as a tool to create divisions. It should bring people together, ”he said. Shastry said that without Indian languages ​​it would not be possible to “recover the fundamentals of the ancient Indian knowledge system”. According to the National Education Policy, 2020, ancient Indian knowledge “will be incorporated in a precise and scientific manner” into school curricula. The committee was tasked with exploring and recommending avenues for the “holistic and multidisciplinary growth” of Indian languages ​​as envisioned in the NEP.

Shastry had supported the 2014 decision of HRD Minister Smriti Irani to replace German with Sanskrit as a third language in the Kendriya Vidyalayas. Asked about his current position, Shastry said: “At that time, foreign languages ​​were not part of educational policy… Now times have changed and politics have changed.


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