Cambridge Closes Door on Sanskrit, Hindi

October 20, 2006

Author: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Source: The Times of India,curpg-2.cms

"I was able to put the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune's criticial edition of the Mahabharat on the web in 1999," said Smith, "but all this may soon stop".

To many, the Cambridge decision is an incontrovertible sign of the times and an acknowledgement that most undergraduate Indian Studies courses at major European universities have a single-figure intake.

Smith admits the logic of this. Sanskrit is a small subject, he says, "last year (was) the last to take undergraduate Sanskrit students (and) we had two".

But he argues that universities and academics need to recognise their place in the world. "We are not here to sell ourselves, but to be scholars".

In a careful omission of the Sanskrit intake, Johnson said "the number of graduate students doing research on a South Asian subject remains high, at between 80 and 90 at any one time (overall)".