BJP's grant of Rs 320 cr to Sanskrit University triggers row in Karnataka

Bengaluru, Jan 17 (IANS): A Kannada organisations and activists have criticized the ruling BJP government decision to grant Rs 320 crore fund to establish aKarnataka Samskrit University'. The release of funds to Sanskrit University at a time when Kannada University at Hampi is facing acute shortage of funds has left them fuming.

Kannada University at Hampi had written to the state government for the assistance of Rs 24 crore as it is almost a year since the university has paid fellowships to students. The crunch has crippled the university so much that it had not taken any students for three years. The guest faculty were paid six months ago and the cash strapped university has no money to provide retirement benefits to professors. fter a public campaign in 2021 by Kannada organisations, the government released Rs 3.52 crores.

Shruthi H.M., a software professional and Kannada activist, told INS that Kannada University at Hampi is the only dedicated research university in the world. There is no fund to release the salaries. The Kannada Development uthority is asking for Rs 2 crores, but the government is not responding. Now, they want to build a Sanskrit University near Ramnagar on the elephant corridor.

"There is a Sanskrit university in Sringeri. Has anyone studied admissions, results and demand? We are not against Sanskrit. But, the government should clarify where the demand for such a university is?a she questions.

Goutham Ganesh M.H., a netizen, as per 2011 language census, in Karnataka, only 1218 people identify Sanskrit as their mother tongue. Spending Rs 300 plus crores on a language not even spoken by 1 per cent of the population is meaningless and an utter waste of taxpayers' money.

The Kannada language activists have started a campaign aSayNoToSanskrit' in this regard. T.. Narayana Gowda, President of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike stated that "we should remember Gokak agitation which took place against conspiracy to impose Sanskrit in education at the cost of local language Kannada. To get a least amount to Hampi Kannada University a campaign had to be launched. The priority of ruling BJP in the state is clear. The time has arrived to unite against the imposition of Hindi as well as Sanskrit,a he said.

Sources explain that the government is pushing the university to become self-reliant. The government is not being outspoken about it fearing the backlash. The activists are questioning the government that when it can fund Rs 320 crore for Sanskrit University why it can't release sufficient funds to Kannada University.

However, shwathnarayan, the State General Secretary of BJP stated that promoting Kannada language has been top priority of the BJP government. "The Kannada Sahitya Parishat and Kannada Development uthority will have to present detailed project reports on funds and follow it up with the government. They can always demand for funds and get it from the government. They have totally failed on this front," he says.

It is a total failure of the Kannada and Culture Department, Kannada Sahitya Parishat and Kannada Development uthority. The allotted funds for the development of Kannada language have gone back without utilization. Suddenly they have woken up after the announcement, where were they all these days? shwathnarayan questioned.


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Title: BJP's grant of Rs 320 cr to Sanskrit University triggers row in Karnataka

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