Assam Makes Sanskrit Compulsory in Schools, Sparks Political Storm

The Assam government's decision to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject till Class VIII in all schools has evoked sharp criticism from student organisations and opposition parties in the state.

This backlash comes soon after Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce the state cabinet’s go-ahead to the move. The order will be implemented in schools across all boards in the state.

Also Read: Sad State of Sanskrit in India and a Book’s Effort to Change It

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal with PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. (Photo: PTI)

Days after the decision, several students groups and political parties on Friday vociferously opposed the move. The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) claimed that it was a "well-orchestrated conspiracy being micro-managed and monitored from Nagpur, where the RSS is headquartered”.

The state government was preparing to recruit people from outside the state since Assam lacks the required number of Sanskrit teachers, AJYCP president Biraj Kumar Talukdar claimed. Talukdar added that his organisation won’t allow it.

The state government should have taken more interest and initiative to introduce Assamese in all schools in the state, including those coming under central boards, instead of imposing Sanskrit.

NSUI’s state general secretary Jayanta Das said that NSUI was not against Sanskrit as it is an ancient language and must be preserved. "But the way the BJP government is trying to impose it on students and the education system is not acceptable,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)