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Revival of Sanskrit – Urban Young Indians Enrolling for Sanskrit Classes

Urban young Indians are enrolling for Sanskrit classes in large numbers and the trend is increasing every year. Young Indians who are enrolling for the short-term Sanskrit courses conducted by various organizations include IT professionals, engineers, doctors, MBAs, civil servants, graduates and postgraduates. Some are attracted by Sanskrit's highly logical grammatical structure, which will help them in other their career. Many also take to Sanskrit because it is a high scoring subject in CBSE and UPSC.

Rachna Bisht-Rawat writes in Outlook India about this new found interest in the classical language

As many as 30,000 people have enrolled for countrywide classes that are starting this July under the aegis of the Gita Shiksha Kendra, to help people know the Gita better, through Sanskrit. And 60 per cent of these are in the 18-28 age group. At the Delhi Samvadshala, students from 37 countries come down in winters to learn spoken Sanskrit. And in 2008, 2,000 Delhiites enrolled for spoken Sanskrit crash courses that were held across the city. Again, 60 per cent were in the 18 to 28 age group.

"Yes, we're going back to our roots," smiles Krishna Shastry, who, along with a group of like-minded people, started the Sanskrita Sambhashanam (Speak Sanskrit) movement in 1981. Just seven students joined the first course, held in Jayanagar, Bangalore. Obviously, a few stereotypes had to be broken. "Over the years, Sanskrit has been considered difficult, boring and irrelevant in a modern world. So we started with evolving a new, more interesting style of teaching," he says.

In the 2001 census, a mere 48,400 people have listed Sanskrit as their mother tongue. But by the time the next census is completed, the numbers may well have doubled or trebled.

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