The Lament of the Once Great

Tarkalankar. Mahamahopadhyaya. Kavyaratnakar. Pandit.

Where do we get to get to hear these title now a days? Especially in West Bengal. Thirty five years of communist rule has wiped out almost all traces of any pre-existing Sanskrit scholarship. In 1970's the West Bengal communist government started out by attacking the very base - religion. Religion is a peoples identity. By attacking religion, they attacked the very identity of the populace. All Sanskrit learning centers ("tols") were destroyed/ uprooted, Ramakrishna Mission was heckled, Sanskrit study was neglected - Sanskrit departments of many Universities lost monetary support and moved towards dissolution. By destroying Sanskrit, the communists destroyed Hinduism in West Bengal - by destroying Hinduism, they destroyed the identity of the Bengali people. And the biggest culprit was the ex-chief minister Mr Jyoti Basu - a rich British educated immigrant pretending to be the savior of the poor.

"Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?" - Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

I ask the same question to Sanskrit, my mother tongue - the mother tongue of my ancestors - the mother toungue of civilization in India. But, my mother tongue is Bengali, you would say. But so what?

We all have two mothers - the one who gave us birth (janani) and the Supreme Mother (matr), the Primeval Force (Adya), the Devi Goddess (Durga), the vishwa-vinodini who is omni-present and unperceived.

Sanskrit and Hindusim survived in West Bengal despite everything - Buddhist rule, despotic Islamic rulers, the British rule, Christian missionary zeal - but could not cope up with the onslaught of the anti-Hindu actions of the communists.

The Once Great language of the Gods, is now grovelling in the lowly dust.