Pandit Mohan Lal Pandey and Prof Harekrishna Satpathy were awarded the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Alankaran for 2009 & 2010 respectively while Prof Piyushkant Dixit and Dr Dhanurdhar Jha were awarded the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Yuva Alankaran for 2009 & 2010 respectively at a function held here on Saturday.
Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar presented the awards to the four scholars. The Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Shreevani Nyas (trust) — established in 1993 — awards scholars for their outstanding contribution to Sanskrit literature and for encouraging continuity in the production of contemporary Sanskrit literature (for those below 50 years).
The awards for seniors comprised R2 lakh, a citation, an idol of Shreevani, mangal vastra and a shreephal whereas the award for younger scholars was R1 lakh, other things remaining the same.
Ruing the fact that fewer youngsters are keen to study Sanskrit, Kumar blamed the loss of institutions teaching the language for the situation and said, “We need to save Sanskrit language if we want to save the cultural and traditional heritage of India.”
“We have put Sanskrit on a high pedestal and feel good about it but continue to neglect it in practice. What is needed is to make Sanskrit the language of the future … by not restricting it to a particular class but by making it a language of the masses,” she said.
Accepting the award, Pandey said, “Sanskrit is the only language that can bring peace to the world, it can solve all problems and even fight terrorism.”
Satpathy said, “History shows that kings have always patronised the Sanskrit scholars. In modern times, organisations like this (the Dalmia trust) play the same role.”
Earlier, renowned scholar Prof Lokesh Chandra, one of the trustees, said, “Unfortunately, English speakers have emerged as the largest ‘caste’ in India which has led to destruction of other languages and underdevelopment of the country. Just as Hebrew was revived in Israel, we need to do the same for Sanskrit.”