A debate has been set off with the HRD ministry’s decision to introduce Sanskrit in the IITs. While the government bashers have obviously been critical of the decision, the pro-government lobby is hailing it. But what about those who will be impacted by the decision – the IIT-ians themselves? What is their opinion?
A Quora user put exactly that question and the answers came from students, past and present, of different IITs. You’ll be surprised to know that nearly all of them support the decision. Here are some of their answers. (We have kept the answers unaltered, including spellings.)
1. One points out that even useless languages have been taught before.
2. A student says that since the language is an elective and not compulsory, there should not be any hue and cry.
3. An IIT-ian pointed what is known to the world but Sanskrit opponents just do not want to accept.
4. Knowledge of Sanskrit can boost our knowledge of information technology and help bolster our defences.
5. That many opponents of Sanskrit try to link it to religion was condemned. Indeed, Sanskrit was the language of India for centuries and anyone can learn it.
And this was pointed out by a Muslim student.
6. Someone wrote this. It is self-explanatory.
7. Of course, learning Sanskrit will help in understanding Vedic mathematics better.
A study of ancient texts has proven that there are many things modern science discovered way later.
8. That all of India’s ancient scientists and mathematicians such as Aryabhatta, Panini, etc, wrote their monumental works in Sanskrit makes a strong case for the language.
9. The US has been trying to patent certain Indian items like ‘neem’ and turmeric and their usages. It was the ancient Indian Sanskrit texts that thwarted US’ claims.
10. If nothing else then the decision will at least prevent the language from becoming extinct.
Case in point is Brahmi, Pali, Prakrit and other ancient Indian languages that were lost to the new ones.
The IIT-ians believe that a study of Sanskrit might help a researcher to find a newer and more effective solutions to current problems. They wrote that it could help in the discovery of a medicinal cure to some ‘untreatable’ disease, or a new mathematical theorem. As an example, one IIT-ian narrated how Youyou Tu, a Nobel Medicine laureate, discovered a cure for different kind of Malaria from ancient Chinese texts written in 340 AD.
You can read what the IIT-ians wrote in this thread.