No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University :-(

George Thompson gthomgt at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 29 18:55:04 UTC 2011

Dear Dipak,

As far as Latin and Greek are concerned, things are bad in the US and in
Europe as well.  Many small Classics departments are being absorbed into
larger Foreign Language departments, or else they are being completely
eliminated.  There is a "university" in my home state of New Hampshire whose
foreign language offerings consist of a couple of classes of Spanish and
French!   Some student activists have tried to organize  and advocate for a
full range of language offerings, including Sanskrit [they contacted me and
asked me to write a letter of suppport, which I did].

When I was a boy in the 60's, I attended a Latin school, where I took six
years of Latin and four of German.  This school offered courses on Classical
Greek as well, but in those days the US was in a race to the moon against
the USSR, so we were discouraged from taking Greek.  They forced the hard
sciences on us instead.

I studied Greek and Sanskrit and Avestan, etc., in college, got involved in
Indo-European Studies, but of course my main passion is, and has always
been, Vedic, especially the Rigveda.

But even at the University of California at Berekeley, where I studied all
of these languages, things have deteriorated.  I expect that the Sankrit
program there is much smaller now.  Maybe one of our friends from Berkeley
can be more specific than I can be.

I hope this helps.


George Thompson

On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 8:34 AM, Dipak Bhattacharya <
dbhattacharya200498 at> wrote:

>   The problem with Sanskrit education in India is that its attraction lies
> mostly in the guarantee of jobs in schools. When Classical language is made
> an optional subject in the secondary stage most schools drop the posts of
> Teacher-in-Sanskrit to save money and the bell tolls for Sanskrit, when made
> compulsory the University Departments overflow. In Bengal at present we are
> seeing a tide following a long period of ebb. Let somebody howl and
> influence a big constituency in Andhra, they will see good days.
> Another fact. Till the early part of the twentieth century there was a
> natural attraction for Sanskrit. The University Sanskrit departments drew
> the best students till about the sixties in Bengal. The decline came after
> that.
> I often wonder if the same problems arose in the West too regarding Greek
> and Latin. I asked some friends. They were reticent or did not know. Will
> somebody kindly enlighten us?
> Best
> DB
> --- On *Wed, 29/6/11, Herman Tull <hwtull at MSN.COM>* wrote:
> From: Herman Tull <hwtull at MSN.COM>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University
> :-(
> Date: Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:10 PM
>   I was there as a student in the Wisconsin program 30+ years ago
> (actually in Telugu, but Sanskrit and Telugu were housed together).  It was
> a pretty lively place back then...
> Has there been a similar dwindling of Sanskrit students at other large
> Indian public universities?
> Herman Tull
>  *From:* Dominik Wujastyk <http://mc/compose?to=wujastyk@GMAIL.COM>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 29, 2011 4:01 AM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University
> :-(

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list