By Srishti Jahagirdar
Clothes shop owners and employees speak only Sanskrit 8“Mama udeysham aasthi sarve janah sanskritam upayog kuruvantu. Sanakrita bhasha usmath dura na bhaveta (gantavyam)”
(“Our intention is that everyone should start using Sanskrit more because it is getting lost these days”) says Ranadheer Singh Rajput.
As per the 2011 census, more than 19,500 languages are spoken in India as mother tongues, but 96.71% population have one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue. Speaking about the oldest languages,
Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, etc are few oldest languages in India.
Randheer Singh Rajput
Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages, originating as Vedic Sanskrit in early 1700-1200 BCE, having a large influence on several western languages as part of the common Indo-European language root has eventually died out as a speaking language in modern India.
The percent of speaking of the ancient language is only about 0.19 in India.
Randheer Singh Rajput in Vijaypur Karnataka running a wholesale clothing store has a staff of about 90 people and has got at least 75% of them speaking Sanskrit.
“Almost 10years ago my dad [Ram Singh Rajput a retired Prof] used to go drop my younger siblings Rahul and Rohini to Sanskrit classes, thought of how the ancient language of India is fading away and only a few people can speak Sanskrit”
Ram Singh Rajput thought of doing his little in preserving the legacy of culture and learned to speak Sanskrit for 10 days with his kids.
Later on, he started to teach a group of people for free. Today Randheer Singh Rajput [son of Ram Singh Rajput] owns a store where, when a new employee joins he/she is first given 10days of Spoken Sanskrit classes in their warehouse for free and it has become their vernacular language in the Store.
An Employee named Laxmi from 3R store
Also, the students of Ram Singh Rajput named Iqbal and Sameer conduct classes for the outsiders without any charges, they say there’s no age limit to learn/join the classes and if you know Hindi or Marathi it becomes easier to learn Sanskrit.
Randheer Singh says there about 500-1000 families in the city [Vijayapur] that have learned and can speak Sanskrit fluently.
“I can’t speak Hindi, My mother tongue is Kannada but I’m very proud and feel lucky that I got to learn Sanskrit,” says Laxmi one of the salespeople of the Store.
Randheer Singh says languages like Marwadi were not understandable then, but now everyone can understand because it’s similar to Hindi so is Sanskrit but no one tries it. It is now only left for occasional Mantra reciting purpose. He concluded by saying “ Sanskrit bhasha ko bachane ki koshish kijiye, zyada se zyada istemal kare”
This small initiative by a commoner with an appealing motto can make big changes. We need more people like Ranadheer Singh and Ram Singh who are thinking for the betterment of the Indian language that has eventually died out and is working their bit to revive it.
About the Author:
Srishti Jahagirdar is a student of BA, Centre of communication for Development at Department of communication Journalism and Mass Communication, Vishwakarma University, Pune, India, she has written in her school and college magazine.