Question:

I am getting admission in the fifth cut-off list of DU in a campus college. While I am thrilled, most people around me say that it is a ‘fossil’ language that will get me nowhere. Am I making a mistake?

Answer:

If there is one Indian language that has managed to survive the onslaught of changes over centuries, it is Sanskrit. The 4,000-year old grandmother of all languages continues to flourish in pockets despite the fact that most of us cannot even string a single sentence in it, leave aside read Kalidasa, Valmiki, Ved Yyasa or Shankara in the original.Long kept on a ventilator by outdated school curricula (most Delhi schools don’t even teach the subject in class XI and XII) Sanskrit is understandably not on the ‘hot’ list of options for college entrants.However, Sanskrit is steadily gaining a fresh lease of life from enthusiasts like you. Lakhs of people (including thousands of professionals and businessmen have been learning the language) through innovative non-formal course offerings.Rashtriya Sanskirt Sansthan a deemed university, and the country’s apex body for Sanskrit learning under MHRD has been at the forefront of this initiative. An honours degree in Sanskrit opens up several opportunities for further study in India and abroad. Surprisingly, a number of American universities offer research options in Sanskrit language and Sanskrit studieStudying Hindi alongside, would further enhance your prospects.However, you can use it as a base for pursuing most professional courses including those in teaching and law, journalism, to name a few. You can even offer the subject as part of the civil services Exam.The immediate reward? Meritorious students of Sanskrit get scholarships and prizes from institutions such as the Delhi Sanskrit Academy and the Rashtriya Sanskirt Sansthan.They also conduct quizzes and competitions in the language from time to time.So, don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. If the subject really interests you, go for it. Who knows what new and interesting options it will open up for you.