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Human ignorance is vaster than the expanse of the universe. Moreover, the former is ever widening,' opined Sir Carveth Reid in his magnum opus ' Man and his superstitions.' The highly evolved Smriti Irani's latest piece of wisdom to introduce Sanskrit to all IITs is a glaring manifestation of this boundless ignorance.

Granted, Sanskrit is a great classic language like Latin, Greek and Hebrew. But is it a functional language any longer? No one speaks or uses it as a language of conversation any more. What will students gain to learn this virtually dead language which is supposed to be a repository of great profundity because of Vedic mathematics and other recondite facets of ancient knowledge? If Sanskrit is included, then why not Arabic? It's now a universally known fact that the Arabs gave zero (cipher in Arabic and now used in English without italics) to the world. Arabs were adept at mathematics and much before the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, they created and developed theorems, even as advanced as differential calculus. Between eight and thirteen centuries, Arabs revolutionised and enriched the corpus of mathematics. Even before that, Pythagoras stole his theorems from Arab mathematicians. From this perspective, IIT students must learn Arabic rather than Sanskrit to understand the roots of maths! Will HRD introduce Arabic to IIT? Never. It's the language of Muslims!

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