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Introduction of Sanskrit

Syed Shahabuddin, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), issued the following statement about the reported introduction of Sanskrit as a compulsory language:

The All India Muslim Majlis-Resource Development, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi. Subsequently the World Sanskrit Conference has recommended its introduction as a compulsory language in schools. This would entail a basic change in the Three Language Formula.
The AIMMM considers that since the academic space at the secondary level cannot accommodate more than 3 languages, for the students of all streams, generally speaking, the Three Language Formula should cover the Mother Tongue, Hindi or another MIL (if the Mother Tongue is Hindi) and English.
The AIMMM apprehends that in effect, the introduction of Sanskrit as a compulsory language in Hindi States will lead to the deprivation of non-Hindi-speaking students from learning their Mother Tongue or English. In either case, this would be an unacceptable sacrifice and an infringement of their constitutional and fundamental rights.

The AIMMM notes that already a student who belongs to a non-Hindi linguistic minority in a non-Hindi State needs to learn one more language - his mother tongue, the principal language of the State, Hindi and English. Sometimes he sacrifices his Mother Tongue, sometimes Hindi, and sometimes English, in his formal choice under the Three Language Formula. If Sanskrit is added as a compulsory language, he will be forced to sacrifice one more language. Will he sacrifice both his Mother Tongue and English, in order to learn only the principal language of the State, Hindi and Sanskrit?

The AIMMM suggests that the only feasible alternatives at the secondary level are 1) the introduction of Sanskrit (with other classical languages) as optional to English for those who are not anxious to study English or 2) the introduction of an elementary course of Sanskrit within both the courses of study for Hindi as the First or as the Second Language. At the higher secondary level since the course of study becomes more focused, Sanskrit can only be included as an optional language for the humanities stream.

The AIMMM requests the Government not to take any hasty decision in the matter but to consult all States and all linguistic groups before revising the basic Three Language Formula.

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