Well, mzybe not so cool: Sanskrit script?

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya2004 at YAHOO.CO.IN
Tue Jan 5 17:05:24 UTC 2010

The discussion has digressed. None should object to that but the old point comes back in a wrong context. Was there any script valid for North India, like Grantha for a large part of the South that would not be used for any other language and thus could be called a Sanskrit script? Since by the correspondent's own admission 'The manuscripts in old Kashmiri I am aware of are written in Sharada' Sarada does not pass this test. Also see my previous submission. 
My objection was against distinguishing between a Hindi and a Sanskrit script. Dedicated script itself does not fit into the Indian situation well. One can write Tamil in Bengali with minimum innovations and Bengali in Kannad without innovation but some orthographic rules. The unique situation in India to which I desired to draw notice seems to have been taken note of by many in this forum. Most of India's regional scripts have ever been valid for the regional language as well as for Sanskrit.
But is not the situation the same with the present form of the 'Latin'- script? Originally  meant for Latin it is now used for all West European languages, Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia and many others.
At present so but since, unlike Latin, Brahmi changed from century to century a unique situation arose in India in the past.
Many thanks to everybody for a lively discussion. Best wishes 
-- On Tue, 5/1/10, script. Walter Slaje <slaje at T-ONLINE.DE> wrote:

From: Walter Slaje <slaje at T-ONLINE.DE>
Subject: Re: Well, mzybe not so cool: Sanskrit script?
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Date: Tuesday, 5 January, 2010, 10:04 PM

> The standardized use of Nagari for Sanskrit should be seen in the wider context of linguistic innovation in the nineteenth century.
> "The great recommendation of High-Hindi (or Nāgarī-Hindi) for its Hindu supporters lies in its Nāgarī alphabet (which under British rule has become the accepted all-India script for Sanskrit: being used for the Deva-bhāṣā or 'the language of the Gods', it acquired in recent times the honoured name Deva-nāgarī, and this added to its prestige, [...]

This may be true in general, but I find it difficult to apply the above criteria to Kashmir.
First, the name of the Sharada script refers already to a deity, namely to Sharada or Sarasvati Devi, the goddess of learning and eloquence. Why exchange a prestigious name and the script it designates for another, such as Deva-Nagari?
Second, Kashmir was never under British rule,
and third, Hindi played no role there at all and can therefore not be seen in the context of a linguistic innovation.

The manuscripts in old Kashmiri I am aware of are written in Sharada.
Modern Kashmiri is commonly written in the Urdu script - as a successor to the Persian characters in use for Persian texts in late medieval times, but significantly enough not in Devanagari.



Prof. Dr. Walter Slaje
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