German Ambassador reaches out to Sangh to resolve German language row

Amid ongoing row over replacing German with Sanskrit as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, German Ambassador Michael Steiner on Wednesday reached out to Sanskrit teachers, including RSS ideologue Dina Nath Batra and decided to resolve the issue through more cultural exchanges.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 21:06 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid ongoing row over replacing German with Sanskrit as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, German Ambassador Michael Steiner on Wednesday reached out to Sanskrit teachers, including RSS ideologue Dina Nath Batra and decided to resolve the issue through more cultural exchanges.

A delegation of German officials, led by Steiner, held discussions with the officials of Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, including Batra, who has recently been in the eye of a storm over his recommendations for revamping the curriculum in NCERT books.

During the meeting, the German side did not seek reconsideration of Sanskrit Sangh's opposition to German being taught as a third language in KV schools, but sought more cooperation for promotion of the two languages that shared a lot common.

Sanskrit Sangh officials explained to the German side that the agreement signed between India and Germany for teaching German as a third language in KVs was in violation of both National Education Policy as well as three-language formula.

The agreement signed in 2011 was due for renewal, but the government has not agreed to renew the same this year.

"We also impressed upon the Germans that Sanskrit was not taught in Germany in place of German language but only as an additional language, whereas it was replacing an Indian language in India," said Monica Arora, Sangh's lawyer who was present in the meeting.

While the German side agreed that everything should happen as per Indian laws, they sought more cultural exchanges between German and Sanskrit scholars for closer ties between the two nations to which Sangh members agreed.

Steiner also proposed a conference for promotion of German and Sanskrit for fostering closer cultural ties and the two sides readily agreed to host one in the near future.

The German Ambassador noted that German and Sanskrit shared deep roots and there was so much common between the two ancient languages and wanted more exchanges for strengthening the ties between two nations.

Steiner said, "Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh supported my idea to organise, early 2015, conference on Indo-Germanic language family."

He also tweeted that he had an "In-depth exchange with Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh leaders on Sanskrit & German in very friendly atmosphere."