[INDOLOGY] The Story of Sanskrit (for Women and Non-Brahmins)

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 20:13:00 UTC 2019

What happened at Udupi was not a 'function'. It was a conference three day
long conference with multiple parallel sessions of paper presentations and
plenaries, ashtaavadhaanam, Mahilaa vaakyaartha sadas , videos of which
were forwarded by Prof. Pandurangi to this list. This all women session of
their own stories of Sanskrit was part of the various such activities in
the conference.

Sanskrit studies in modern schools , colleges and universities being
limited to the Brahmin community or males is an obsolete information.

Right from the time of the founding of Arya Samaj, universities, gurukulas
and other institutions founded and run by Arya Samaj, a huge number of
erudite nonbrahmin and women Sanskrit scholars have been produced out of
these institutions. These women scholars went  on to found and run all girl
, all women Veda and Sanskrit institutions all over the country
proliferating women erudition in Sanskrit and Vedas.

In government institutes where Sanskrit is. taught students from diverse
social backgrounds have been opting Sanskrit. All women and all girls
institutes run by government and private managements have been offering
Sanskrit and these courses attracted considerable number of students from
diverse social in these all female institutes.

At universities, departments of Sanskrit all over the country have been
getting more number of women students than men students from very early
days. Prof. Deshpande confirmed this situation from his own experience of
his student days.
Even today that is the situation.

Apart from Arya Samaj, many modern 'Hindu' movements and :Hindu' spiritual
organisations have been encouraging women's participation in Veda ,
Sanskrit and Shaastra learning. There are many women swaminis,
Brahmacharinis and other women spiritual leaders with very good command
over Sanskrit and Shaastras.

All such ground reality not getting properly represented is what gets
countered by such vaakyaartha and sessions .


On Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 3:15 PM Ananya Vajpeyi via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Shri Varakhedi,
> Thanks for your notice below. I haven't had a chance to watch the videos
> yet, but I would like to do so and to respond once I have seen and heard
> the women scholars you say spoke in Udupi at your function.
> You and your colleagues at the BVP deserve to be acknowledged for taking
> very seriously the discussion on caste and gender in Sanskrit Studies
> initiated in Vancouver last summer. It's heartening that you identified and
> invited women scholars, from different parts of India and belonging to
> diverse social backgrounds, to share their experiences and learning with a
> predominantly male field.
> I would urge you to go further and also acknowledge that not all women and
> not all people outside of the traditionally sanctioned Brahmin community
> have found Sanskrit institutions and discourse to be egalitarian and
> inclusive, even in today's context. I do hope you can find it possible,
> given the process of self-examination and self-criticism you must have
> undertaken, to go back and hear what Dr. Kaushal Panwar was narrating, and
> to understand the struggles that lie behind what she and so many others
> have gone through in the present and in the past.
> Eventually I would like to see a rapprochement between Dr. Panwar and the
> members of the audience who so rudely interrupted and attacked her (and the
> rest of us on the panel) at the WSC. I would expect a retraction of the use
> of terminology and nomenclature that is deemed offensive to the
> self-respect of social groups that have long faced discrimination,
> exclusion and violence in the arena of knowledge and education.
> This is the real goal of telling ALL the stories of Sanskrit that are
> circulating out there, every one of which has its reality and its
> relevance, even though they may be difficult to reconcile sometimes with
> one another, given the massive and deep contradictions in our society.
> Without mutual respect and the ability to empathise with one another's
> different experiences, we cannot live together.
> I look forward to a continuing dialogue.
> With good wishes,
> Ananya Vajpeyi.
> Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:25:11 +0530
> From: Shrinivasa Varakhedi <shrivara at gmail.com>
> To: Veeranarayana Pandurangi <veerankp at gmail.com>
> Cc: indology at list.indology.info
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] " Story of my Sanskrit" at BVP conference
> Message-ID: <DDEC7D19-55A1-4715-AD44-0900BE3D7E84 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Dear Colleagues,
> This is the direct response to the "Open Forum" that has been staged in
> Vancouver last year. Thanks to the organisers for sharing the link of the
> event. It is an eye-opening sharing of personal experiences of young women
> studying/researching/teaching Sanskrit  in Indian Academia. The personal
> stories narrated by these women inform us the current trend of Sanskrit
> studies in India. Statistics suggests that more than 60% female students
> are studying and same no of women are enjoying faculty position in some
> states like Maharashtra, Kerala, and WestBengal. Two among these five women
> do not belong to so called upper cast (as they narrate). They are speaking
> in Sanskrit fluently. They are encouraged to study Veda, Shastras along
> with others. No discrimination is experienced. This is the REAL story of
> Sanskrit.
> https://youtu.be/jVq7OjL3Oz4 <https://youtu.be/jVq7OjL3Oz4>
> Interestingly NO response/feedback/discussion is initiated. Other part of
> the continued story is the Mahila Vakyartha Goshthi. The exposition of
> Shastrarthas by these young women was astonishing. You will really wonder
> to experience the quality of presentation of ideas without any error or
> confusion at any point. The clarity and exhibition of confidence are beyond
> words. These are ?unheard voices? in real sense.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaOuxiYbVpo <
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaOuxiYbVpo>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMp9ngdvzSc <
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMp9ngdvzSc>
> I appreciate the response from scholarly fraternity on these events.
> Warm regards,
> Shrinivasa Varakhedi
> --
> *Ananya Vajpeyi *
> *Fellow and Associate Professor*
> *Centre for the Study of Developing Societies*
> *29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines*
> *New Delhi 110054*
> *e: vajpeyi at csds.in <vajpeyi at csds.in>*
> *ext: 229*
> *http://www.csds.in/faculty_ananya_vajpeyi.htm
> <http://www.csds.in/faculty_ananya_vajpeyi.htm>*
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> indology-owner at list.indology.info (messages to the list's managing
> committee)
> http://listinfo.indology.info (where you can change your list options or
> unsubscribe)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20190222/05b96330/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list