Sanskrit, being the oldest known language and the foundation for many modern languages, including English, presents a rich source of study. However, today there are not many takers of Sanskrit, which was once known for its comprehensiveness and refinement. In an attempt, to revive the popularity of Sanskrit language, particularly among the youth, a Sanskrit cultural festival was organised in Delhi University’s Daulat Ram College.
Enthusiastic response of students towards Sanskrit marked the first edition of ‘Mantra Cultural festival’ organised by Shreyas – The Sanskrit Association of Daulat Ram College to promote Sanskrit. The one day cultural festival was inaugurated by lighting of lamp by the Chief Guest, Shri Niwas (National Joint Organising Secretary of ABVP), Guest of Honor, Prof. Kaushal Sharma (Director, ICSSR), Special Guest, Prof. Ramesh Bhardwaj (Director, Gandhi Bhawan) and College Principal Dr. Savita Roy.
In the inaugural session, Chief Guest Shri Niwas talked about how our youngsters have not been able to understand and appreciate Sanskrit language. This is because our education system was manipulated right after the independence to keep our upcoming generations away from the Indian culture and its glory. The ‘modernization’ of our country and its education system has done more harm than good.
Prof. Kaushal Sharma, Director, ICSSR said that most of our literature was written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit has one of the richest and most extensive literatures of all known languages, such as the The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. It introduces children to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, exquisite poetry and much else. Sanskrit slowly took a backseat during the Mughal era and the British period. The rise of the princely states also played a vital role in the downfall of Sanskrit as every state puts more focus on the use of its local language. He was of the view that interdisciplinary research among Sanskrit and other courses in universities will surely help us understand Sanskrit not just as a language but as culture. Prof. Ramesh Bhardwaj said that India is a country that defines unity in diversity and Sanskrit could be a language that binds us together. Dr. Savita Roy, Principal, Daulat Ram College said that Sanskrit is not just a language, but a mix bag of knowledge – full of economics, politics and religion.
The day-long activities in the festival included Sanskrit kavyali competition, Sanskrit bhashan competition and Sanskrit ekal shlok sangeet competition.