Sanskrit as national language : During the hearing of the petition, the Supreme Court said that giving ‘national’ status to a language is a policy decision which requires amendment in the constitution. It cannot be decided on the orders of the court.
anskrit as national language: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to declare Sanskrit as the national language, which has been rejected by the court. The Supreme Court said that declaring a national language was a policy decision and would require amendment of the Constitution.
Apart from this, the court asked the petitioner whether you can recite a line in Sanskrit. This PIL was filed in the court on behalf of retired IAS officer and lawyer KG Vanzara.
Court dismissed the petition
A bench of Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari declined to entertain the petition saying that grant of ‘national’ status to a language was a policy decision which required amendment of the Constitution. It cannot be decided on the orders of the court. The bench said, “It comes within the purview of a policy decision and even for this, the Constitution of India has to be amended.” No writ can be issued to Parliament to declare a language as the national language.
During the hearing of the case, the petitioner was asked, ‘Sanskrit is spoken in how many cities in India? do you speak sanskrit? Can you recite a line in Sanskrit or at least translate the prayer in your petition into Sanskrit?’ The petitioner recited a Sanskrit shloka in response to this but the bench replied that we all know this.
Then the lawyer cited a former judge of the then Supreme Court of Calcutta during the British rule, to which the bench said that we know that many words in Hindi and other state languages have come from Sanskrit. But this cannot be the basis for declaring a language as the national language, it is very difficult for us to declare any language.
Raise demand before the government
The counsel for the petitioner said that Sanskrit is a ‘mother tongue’ from which other languages have taken inspiration. Refusing to entertain the petition, the top court said that the petitioner is free to place such demand before the government.
The petition has sought a direction to the central government to notify Sanskrit as the national language, saying such a move will not disturb the existing constitutional provisions that give the status of official languages of the country to English and Hindi. Huh. It is the job of the Parliament to approve any language as a constitutional language and for this the bill has to be approved by both the houses of the Parliament.