Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said Sanskrit should be made compulsory in school curriculum from the very beginning to inculcate Indian culture and values among students.
“Knowledge of English is must but don’t make our children Englishmen. Only Sanskrit can help students learn Indian culture and ethos,” Singh said while addressing a gathering at the inaugural function of the Jaipuria School, Kanpur Road branch, Lucknow.
“Make Sanskrit compulsory in schools from early classes. A half-an-hour Sanskrit class must be made compulsory in schools every day,” said the minister.
Rajnath Singh had made Sanskrit compulsory in schools when he was education minister in the first BJP government in Uttar Pradesh in 1991. He is also credited with bringing anti-copying law in the state.
The union home minister also stressed on character building of students.
“Making students only knowledgeable is not enough. Even terrorists and hardcore criminals have technical and post graduate degrees. Therefore, character building of students is a must,” Singh asserted.
Further clarifying his point, he said: “By surfing the Internet for several hours, anyone can acquire knowledge about anything but not character. So, character building of students is equally important.”
Former union HRD minister Smriti Irani, who is now union textile minister, had replaced German with Sanskrit as third language in the central schools in November 2014.
Irani’s decision had triggered a nationwide debate over the issue.