New Delhi: In the midst of a row over removal of German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, Union Minister Uma Bharati on Saturday said Sanskrit should be recognised as an "intermediary" language to fill the "gap" between English and Hindi in the country.
"We will have to give a third language its dignity in India. The states insist on their own language and then there is insistence on using the most widely used language in the country...
"...The gap between these two can only be filled when we recognise Sanskrit as the intermediary language," Bharti said while addressing a function here.
To buttress her point, she contended that more people in the country know Sanskrit than those who can write in English.
"In every village, you will find at least two or three people who know Sanskrit. But it is not the case with English," said Bharati, the Minister for Water Resources, at the conference on water conservation.
Her comments came admist a controversy over removal of German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas. The government has argued that continuance of German as third language was against the Constitution.
"A third intermediary language has to be worked out because we cannot press the people from the South to speak in the language of North India and the north Indians who speak English also have to face questions," Bharati said, adding this will help remove the "difficulty" faced.
Interestingly, at the event, some members of the audience objected to the use of English by one of the speakers. Commenting on this, Bharati said, "You will have to bear the burden of English till the time you do not bring Sanskrit."
Alluding to opposition to the government's move to replace German with Sanskrit, she said, "those who work in the social arena have to face opposition and allegations and one should be ready for the same."
She also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, "Every week, we spend some hours with him every week. I feel we have to keep pace with him and all the ministries have to run with him. He is running and making all of run."