Muslim girls in Jharkhand learning Sanskrit for better future - News Oneindia They say Sanskrit is only for Hindus? Is it really so? Language doesn't have any barriers. In India, more than 1000 mother tongues are spoken, but there are no restrictions on who can speak what language. A Hindu can speak Punjabi, Telugu and many more languages and vice versa also happens. Sanskrit has been mislabelled as a religion specific to Hindus and has been opposed from certain corners. Several groups have opposed reading the traditional language since it is associated with Hindu scriptures. But, a language is not confined to any particular religion or sect as it is just a medium of expression. Similarly, Sanskrit is nothing but a language which has no religious bondage. In Jharkhand, Muslim girls have broken the Sanskrit stereotypes and preferred Sanskrit over Urdu and Persian. They have chosen the language saying that it is easier to learn and also helps them score nice marks. People in nearly 49 countries are researching and learning Sanskrit Describing the sight of the schools, an HT report said, "Dozens of these girls in customary headscarves chanting Sanskrit hymns from the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita is a common sight at the schools in Gomoh, a sleepy hamlet in Jharkhand." As per the report, parents also don't object on taking this subject rather they insisted on taking up Sanskrit instead of Urdu. Today only a few thousand people are left who speak Sanskrit in our country and even in colleges only a few students enroll in courses for this language. Shiv Shankar Poddar, the school principal who also teaches Sanskrit to class IX and X students, said he is inspired by the love his pupils, especially the Muslim girls, have for the subject. Shiv Shankar Poddar, the school principal was quoted as saying in HT, "It's completely voluntary. There is no pressure on them to opt for Sanskrit and chant the shlokas (couplets)." He further added, "It's the simplicity of the language that is drawing more and more students, irrespective of their mother tongue and religion, towards Sanskrit." Language has always been a hot-button issue In a diverse country like India, besides other issues, language has also been an issue for bone of contention between the central and state Government and recently Sanskrit was the reason of fight between Tamil Nadu Government and the Centre. Recently, the central government decided to celebrate a â€˜Sanskrit week' was opposed by parties from Tamil Nadu calling it an attempt to impose Sanskrit on all the Indians. Why Sanskrit on a downfall Over the years Sanskrit, the language which was considered as the most important one, has lost its charm. People blame English for the same but it is only us who are responsible for it, no one else. Talking about the issue, MC Dileep Kumar, vice-chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University said, "We have to blame ourselves for the downfall of Sanskrit, which is the result of neglecting the language over a period of time and lack of job opportunity for Sanskrit scholars". "People in nearly 49 countries are now researching and learning Sanskrit by understanding its importance. However, this is not the case in India, where no importance is being given to promote the language. Lack of job opportunities has further deepened the problem and it has taken the sheen out of the subject", Kumar further said. While the scope of Sanskrit in India is nearly nil, foreign countries like Germany, US are adopting this language at a faster pace. Even the number of students opting for this language at college and school level is decreasing as the language do not add to anything in the form of career rather it leaves them empty handed. But Shammal Alam, a former Government Girls High School student who aspires to become a teacher, was quoted as saying, "I can proudly proclaim that I have great command over Sanskrit and it will fetch me a job." Sanskrit is one of the ancient languages of India and it must be given its desired treatment. Like any other language Sanskrit must not be associated with any particular religion or sect and should be considered as a language for all.