No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University :-(

Eugen Ciurtin e.ciurtin at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 30 09:53:44 UTC 2011

Re: Prof Bhattacharya and Prof Tull's comparative interest in Latin: the
akme within the Humanities was perhaps in mid-1930s, when a lot of leading
'Classical' philologist and linguists enthusiastically proposed every
scholarly periodical - including 'Oriental' - to be written in Latin... (a
Latin dissertatio in things Sanskrit/Indian survived in parts of Europe
around 1900, e.g. Pischel's, in 1875, and then his pupils). Of course, in a
couple of years the goals were a bit different. There are some mentions of
this international project in *L'Année philologique *of Marouzeau (and
Lambrino, a Romanian scholar, exponent of an European interwar tradition
which supported the teaching of Latin in highschools - one to three years -
up to the end of the Communist regime in 1989, at least in this Latin coin
of Eastern Europe, but in its aftermath the situation was and is equally

In his *La ricerca della lingua perfetta nella cultura europea*, Umberto Eco
still tries to support the fabric of posthumous Latin neologisms (as
'videocapsulae' and, with a stronger impact? 'publicitarii'), which would be
interesting to compare with the revival of (spoken) Sanskrit after 1947.
Greek and Latin production of neologism still functions, more or
less authomatically as far as I am aware, in medical and pharmaceutical
research. Perhaps Dominik Wujastyk and others may document a similar case as
for the Sanskrit medical sam.hitaas' lexical influence on a variety of
modern Indian languages.

E. Ciurtin

2011/6/30 Dipak Bhattacharya <dbhattacharya200498 at>

> --- On *Thu, 30/6/11, Dipak Bhattacharya <dbhattacharya200498 at>*wrote:
> From: Dipak Bhattacharya <dbhattacharya200498 at>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University
> :-(
> To: "Dipak Bhattacharya" <dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM>, "Herman Tull" <
> hwtull at>
> Date: Thursday, 30 June, 2011, 7:41 AM
> < Jobs in these fields are very hard to come by, but the students are able
> to apply their training to many different (non-academic) enterprises.>
> A difference with the situation in India is caused by the policy of the
> Central as well as of some state governments. One may recall the pro-mother
> tongue sentiments violently prevailing in the late sixties and the
> introduction of compulsory teaching through the state language in Government
> aided Institutions. The result was an abrupt fall in standard. Most of the
> dwindling number of Sanskrit students opted for mother tongue. When students
> needed writing only in his/her mother tongue consultation of books in
> English, not to speak of other European languages, became rare even for PhD
> students. The situation was partially amended by the spread of private
> institutions that kept the English medium compulsory. But these are
> expensive. As a result two classes of educated were created. Students in
> state aided Universities, unless not bereft of active encouragement from
> enlightened teachers, languished. Only non-state Centrally aided
> Universities (JNU, Visva Bharati, Delhi etc) had to retain English (they had
> to withstand the pressure of Hindi protagonist) to address students from
> different states.
> Those students who had gained poor mastery of English when leaving state
> universities have no chance of getting jobs in non-teaching/private
> institutions where the knowledge of English is a must.
> So a difference has arisen.
> I must state that quite a few students could gain mastery of English and
> could contribute to international standards of research. But their number
> has been few.
> Fortunately, of late, a reversion of the trend is noticeable.
>  Best
> DB
> --- On *Wed, 29/6/11, Herman Tull <hwtull at>* wrote:
> From: Herman Tull <hwtull at>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University
> :-(
> To: "Dipak Bhattacharya" <dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM>
> Date: Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 6:52 PM
>  I have only anecdotal evidence.  I was a member of the Classics
> Department at Princeton University for several years.  The department still
> fares well, with strong students (and good numbers) on both the
> undergraduate level and the graduate level studying Greek and Latin.  Jobs
> in these fields are very hard to come by, but the students are able to apply
> their training to many different (non-academic) enterprises. One difference
> in modern U. S. education (since the turn of the century) is that Greek and
> Latin are no longer compulsory.  Many schools in earlier days had an
> entrance exam in Greek and Latin; but that gradually declined at the end of
> the 19th century.  As far as the best and the brightest not choosing
> Classics—there is so much choice now, whereas 100+ years ago the professions
> requiring education were so few (nearly all which, such as minister,
> physician, and teacher, required classical languages).
> Herman Tull
>  *From:* Dipak Bhattacharya
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 29, 2011 8:34 AM
> *To:* INDOLOGY at
> *Subject:* Re: [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra
> University :-(
>   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
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 29, 2011 4:01 AM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* [INDOLOGY] No incoming Sanskrit students at Andhra University
> :-(

Dr E. Ciurtin
Publications Officer of the European Association for the Study of Religions

Lecturer & Secretary of the Scientific Council
Institute for the History of Religions, Romanian Academy
Calea 13 Septembrie no. 13 sect. 5, Bucharest 050711
Phone: 00 40 733 951 953

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