The ongoing row over replacing Sanskrit with German as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas seems not to be ending anywhere soon as German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner met with the members of the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh (SSS) to resolve the matter. The Sangh has the solid backing of top Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (RSS) ideologue Dinanath Batra, who was also present during the discussion.
Mr Steiner’s meeting with Dinanath Batra comes soon after PM Narendra Modi assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel he would look into her concerns over the decision of SSS who had earlier moved to the Delhi High Court against the move to introduce German as third language.
Dinanath Batra, who famously forced Penguin India to withdraw American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book “The Hindus: An Alternative History”. He is currently preparing a “blueprint” for “Indianising” the education system and liberating it from the clutches of western education.
The German delegation sought more cooperation for promotion of the two languages with Steiner proposing a conference for promotion of German and Sanskrit for fostering closer cultural ties, to which both sides agreed.
Expressing his views on promoting both Sanskrit and German languages, Stiener said, “I visited the Sanskrit Sansthan to express solidarity with Sanskrit language with which we have common roots.”
Sanskrit Sansthan officials explained to the German side that the agreement signed between India and Germany in 2011 for teaching German as a third language in KVs was due for renewal, but the government had not agreed to it.
Moreover, the MoU – signed between Goethe Institute Max Muller Bhavan, Delhi, and Kendriya Vidhlayas in 2011 – violated the three language policy as enunciated in the National Policy on Education, 1968, and National Curriculum Framework 2005.
Germans were told that the HRD Ministry had not approved the MoU. The German side agreed that things should happen as per Indian laws and sought more cultural exchanges between German and Sanskrit scholars for closer ties between the two sides to which the Sansthan members agreed.