Why is the West Crazy About Sanskrit?

Date 2001/6/9 23:46:02 | Topic: Hindu Press International


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CALCUTTA, INDIA, June 9, 2001: While we in India battle each other on the streets on whether Sanskrit should be revived in the school curricula or not, top notch Western universities have been busy churning our one esoteric dissertation after another on Panini's Ashtadhyay and comparing Bhartihari's and Patanjali's grammatical logic. The irony has been in place for over two centuries now. Even as we neglect our rich cultural heritage, it is the West that has revived interest in the East. Ever since 1786, when Sir William Jones, in a paper presented to the Royal Asiatic Society, in Calcutta, said, "the wonderful structure" of the Sanskrit language, is "more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either," the West has been busy learning from Sanskrit. Today several American campuses offer Sanskrit along with modern Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Tamil.







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