Imagine studying the nuances of fashion, make-up, stress management, Vedic mathematics, acting and script writing while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit? The idea, though unconventional, sounds interesting and has been implemented at Delhi University’s Department of Sanskrit as part of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP).
Besides studying papers in Sanskrit language and literature, students in the new session 2013-14 will have a lot of new things to look forward to. “We want to promote Sanskrit not just as a language but also as a discipline. Introduction of foundation, discipline 2 and applied courses emphasises that. Students will be taught in English and Hindi, besides being taught in Sanskrit,” says Dr Satyamurti, assistant professor, Department of Sanskrit.
The foundation course, for instance, aims to equip students with necessary linguistic and analytical skills to pursue their texts. Another unit in the syllabus covers literature as a vehicle for social awareness and HR development. This includes sections from Sanskrit literature, both classical and modern, dealing with issues of national concern. Students will also be taught human resource development with the help of an HRD model that will be taught on the basis of Sanskrit texts like Sruti, Upanishads, Smritis, later writings of thinkers like Sankara and Ramanuja and others.
This HR model also comprises sections on stress busting, right eating and practice of pranayam. Teachers will also show the connection of Sanskrit with various Indian and foreign languages citing important words of Sanskrit and their similar words in English, French, German, Persian etc. “Students will also be taught about the reciprocal ways in which Sanskrit and Dravidian languages have shaped each other. Hence, the foundation course, on the basis of linguistic unity, would be able to inculcate the sentiment of national unity and international brotherhood as well. FYUP will help them co-relate Sanskrit to modern areas and meet contemporary challenges,” adds Satyamurti.
As part of Indian theatre and aesthetics, students will learn about the performing arts, stage management, perception of beauty in drama from the cultural and social point of view. Indian logic and science of debate; epigraphy and chronology; Vedic literature, Indian polity; scientific heritage and personality development have also been included. The department is also mulling over starting a PG diploma in Indian theatre in association with the faculty of music and National School of Drama. “Each paper has 10% Sanskrit component as a medium of expression in discipline 1,” says Mithilesh Chaturvedi, head of the department.