Absence of Sanskrit in General Curriculum Enabled West Bengal Board of Secondary Education to Falsify About Lord Ram

Due to lack of regular studies & cultivation of Sanskrit, research & exploration of ancient Indian wisdom have been retarded. Lack of widespread general usage of Sanskrit amongst general people also facilitated falsification of our ancient scriptures wherever it suited the political motivation. For example, Class VI Text Book of West Bengal Government Schools, has described Ram as a nomadic warrior. The Text Book asserted the word ‘Ram’ in Sanskrit to mean ‘Roaming’. It falsified that the Sanskrit word ‘Ram’ had evolved from the English word ‘Roaming’ since both meant the same— wandering. The book thus manipulatively tried to establish its false claim that Ram was a wanderer, nomadic who entered our land as he was roaming around & gradually defeated the original inhabitants of this land. The History Text Book of Class VI, titled “Otit O Oitihyo” (Past & Heritage) vilifies Ram without mentioning any scholarly reference of Valmiki Ramayana written in Sanskrit. This has been possible as Sanskrit turned almost an alien language in India. India is perhaps the only country whose endless treasure of ancient learning & wisdom was scripted in Sanskrit, yet she alienated that language. Motive thereof was political. Sanskrit literature unveils unfathomable spiritual depth of ancient Indian psyche. Yet the country deliberately tended to forget the Mother of all Indian languages & got gradually detached from her own heritage.

Madhya Shiksha Parshad i.e. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education misguided students of Class VI by falsifying about Ram & denigrating the August Epic, RAMAYANA that represented our ethos from time immemorial. Did WBBSE fail to perceive that calumniating Ram as a Nomadic would amount to humiliate one of the Great Epics of Human Civilization? Perhaps not. The objective of such false portrayal of Lord Ram seems deliberate and politically motivated. It perhaps aims at imbibing the idea that Lord Ram was no one of this land but an invader. This, further, is perhaps in order to justify & morally defend those who truly invaded our land & our lingo-cultural heritage bringing in distortions to our socio-cultural outlook. Equating Lord Ram with exogenous expansionist invaders & attempting to ingrain such a thought process into the psyche of innocent children at a very early age is an obnoxious conspiracy against our heritage. What else could be the objective of such misrepresentations in a Class VI Text Book, other than brainwashing little children of West Bengal against our ethos? The great Epics of India are ways to keep her people rooted to the quintessential principles of the land. What could be the true objective of distorting them? What is the real reason of vilifying & calumniating Lord Ram? When, how & why disparaging attacks started against Ram which came down so low in the recent time? The answer lies in the History of West Bengal from before independence.

Lord Ram was first targeted by the Communists in Bengal. The Left Front Government also removed Sanskrit from the School Syllabus. Sanskrit was taught in Schools of West Bengal as a compulsory subject in Secondary Education till 1981. However, after 1981, Left Front Government removed Sanskrit from School Syllabus & taught it only in Class VII & VIII. In due course, Sanskrit was removed from those two classes too. Communists deprecated Lord Ram that influenced the psyche of a particular section of the educated middle class.

Maryada Purushottam Bhagwan Shri Ram, the Seventh Avatar & the human self of Bhagwan Shree Vishnu, is worshipped as the ideological icon of a Hindu Man. Shree Ram is one who’s able, gallant, strong, strategic, inclusive, disciplined & socially responsible. He is poised to dedicate everything personal for collective social wellbeing. Shree Ram is one who committed a number of mistakes in life but never disowned them. Maryada Purushottam Bhagwan Shree Ram is the very basis of masculine Hindu Society who remained accountable for his KARMA. Communists deliberately portrayed this divine icon as a misogynist coward who disbelieved his wife, tortured her & deserted her for power & popularity. Their such misrepresentation was targeted to instigate so called ‘feminism’. Though Communists themselves didn’t accommodate any lady in their top leadership, they never refrained from preaching pseudo-feminism to instigate young minds negatively against our own cultural ethos. Communists tried to mislead the young generation against Lord Ram by misrepresentation & manipulative portrayal of the Great Epic. Campaign to vilify Maryada Purushottam Bhagwan Shri Ram in Bengal was a psychological warfare launched by the Communists utilizing the intellectuals & academia. Deeper & the true objective of such a conspiracy has its root in the background history of West Bengal.

However, in spite of tireless efforts rendered by Lefts & Ultra-lefts to wipe off spiritual & social impact of Lord Ram, HE was & still is a part of Bengali life & psyche. Valmiki Ramayana was translated & written in Bengali by Mahakavi Krittibas Ojha who was born in 1381 & died in 1461. It may be mentioned here that Poet Tulsidas was born in 1511 & died in 1623. This proves that KRITTIBASI RAMAYAN was written much before RAMCHARITMANASA. KRITTIBASI RAMAYAN used to be a handbook in every Bengali household. People here used to read or listen to KRITTIBASI RAMAYAN as a way of life. In regular religious gatherings in different localities of Bengal, RAMAYAN GAAN was a pious routine performance. In household religious rituals like NAM SANKIRTAN & HARIR LOOT, Ram & Ramayan were & still are worshipped in Bengal. They are ingrained deep into the psyche of Hindu Bangali.

The great Epic, Ramayana has been recreated in Bengali literature by several erudite scholars & littérateurs. In Bengal, the Epics are available even for kids. There are pictorial representations of both RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATA in Bengali for children. Grandfather of Satyajit Ray, Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury has beautifully written both RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATA in Bengali for both kids as well as for adolescent children. He has written two versions, one for kids & the other for elder children. Rajshekhar Basu alias Parashuram translated Valmiki Ramayana in Bengali in 1946. Rabindranath Tagore in his poem ‘PURASHKAR’ has described the spirit of both RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATA in such brevity & so lucidly that they leave a permanent surreal impact in the readers’ mind. Those who have heartily read the poem “PURASHKAR” even once, would perhaps never forget Tagore’s depiction of the two great epics. I wonder whether any other poet has ever elucidated our Great Epics so precisely yet so accurately!

All these prove that Ram & Ramayana are & were integral parts of Bengali lives. There are innumerable facts that corroborates with the claim that Bengali life & psyche integrally included Bhagwan Shree Ram. “Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare” chants every common man of Bengal till today. Many of them received RAM MANTRA as their DIKSHA MANTRA too. Children of Bengal, when afraid of ghosts, rhyme “BHOOT AMAR PUT, PETNI AMAR JHI, RAM LAKKHAN BUKE ACHE, KORBE AMAR KI” which means ‘ghosts are like my own children, how can they harm me while both Ram & Laxman live in my heart?’ Such is the extent of faith Bengal’s children have in Lord Ram.

Communists of West Bengal tried to remove this faith. They vituperated Shree Ram through apparent pseudo-intellectual Jackknifing of the Epic to generate misinformation which gradually penetrated minds of a section of West Bengal populace. After the fall of Communist Government of West Bengal in 2011, the new legislation led by Mamata Banerjee started being dominantly controlled by Islamists for distinct political benefits. (Such claim may be corroborated with several socio-political incidents of the State.) Hence, the present form of toxic & desperate vituperation of Shree Ram in Class VI Text Book seems to be another aggressive step towards Islamization of Governmental Education in the State.

To make all such attempts to misguide children futile, making SANSKRIT mandatory in every school of all sizes & spheres in the State appears necessary. Learning Sanskrit is a pre-requisite to comprehend the true meaning of the Sanskrit word Ram & various such other words. Sanskrit being the linguistic origin of most of the Indian languages including Bengali & a large majority of Bengali vocabulary being Sanskrit words themselves, known as TATSAMA SHABDO, learning Sanskrit seems necessary. Moreover, exploring the treasures of BHARATVARSHA’s old original scriptures also mandates knowledge of Sanskrit. Madhya Shiksha Parshad could attempt to misguide students of Class VI as Parshad’s schools didn’t have the responsibility to impart lessons of Sanskrit Language & Literature to their children. The word ‘Ram’ does not mean ‘ROAMING’ may be heartily learnt only when children would learn Sanskrit. Before The Sanskrit Week begins on July 31, it needs to be categorically asserted that the sub-continent whose Epics are written in Sanskrit, must have Sanskrit as their National Language. Orchestrated deprecatory misrepresentations of words & the great Epic Ramayana by West Bengal Government may be taken as a wake-up call.

Debjani Bhattacharyya

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