Author Topic: Fact check: India wasn't the first place Sanskrit was recorded – it was Syria  (Read 637 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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After yoga, Narendra Modi has turned his soft power focus to Sanskrit.  The Indian government is enthusiastically participating in the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok. Not only is it sending 250 Sanskrit scholars and partly funding the event, the conference will see the participation of two senior cabinet ministers: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who inaugurated the conference on Sunday, and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, who will attend its closing ceremony on July 2. Inexplicably, Swaraj also announced the creation of the post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit in the Ministry of External Affairs. How an ancient language, which no one speaks, writes or reads, will help promote India’s affairs abroad remains to be seen.

On the domestic front, though, the uses of Sanskrit are clear: it is a signal of the cultural nationalism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Sanskrit is the liturgical language of Hinduism, so sacred that lower castes (more than 75% of modern Hindus) weren’t even allowed to listen to it being recited. Celebrating Sanskrit does little to add to India’s linguistic skills – far from teaching an ancient language, India is still to get all its people educated in their modern mother tongues. But it does help the BJP push its own brand of hyper-nationalism.

Unfortunately, reality is often a lot more complex than simplistic nationalist myths. While Sanskrit is a marker of Hindu nationalism for the BJP, it might be surprised, even shocked, to know that the first people to leave behind evidence of having spoken Sanskrit aren't Hindus or Indians – they were Syrians.

http://scroll.in/article/737715/fact-check-india-wasnt-the-first-place-sanskrit-was-recorded-it-was-syria

Offline scamandrius

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Fascinating.

Offline wgw

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Well, I find that unsurprising; it seems to tie in with the idea that Hinduism is a more corrupt form, and Zoroastrianism, a less corrupt form, of the ancient religion of Noah and Melchizedek, hence the spectrum of similiarity between them.

Offline RaphaCam

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I would avoid outright calling some Indo-Aryan(-ish) strate in an ancient language a "Sanskrit record".
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Well if it is a 78......
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