[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] India: Language Row: German Ambassadodr Steiner Meets Sangh Ideologue

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 15:42:36 UTC 2014

 Language Row: Steiner Meets Sangh Ideologue

By Pratul Sharma

Published: 20th November 2014 06:12 AM

Last Updated: 20th November 2014 06:12 AM

   -  [image: Michael Steiner]
    Michael Steiner

    NEW DELHI: Even as the controversy over the replacement of German
language with Sanskrit in government-run Kendriya Vidyalayas rages on,
German Ambassador Michael Steiner on Wednesday reached out to the
RSS-affiliated bodies that were opposed to the teaching of foreign
languages in schools across the country.

Steiner held a meeting with the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, the body that
filed a case in the Delhi High Court against German being taught in place
of Sanskrit.

Also present at the meeting was RSS ideologue Dina Nath Batra.

Sources said the Ambassador instead of insisting that German be taught,
proposed that efforts be made to promote cultural links between the two

Highlighting the similarities between the two languages, Steiner also
proposed that an international conference on Indo-German language be held
early next year.

Steiner tweeted pictures of the meet and wrote, “Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh
supported my idea to organise, in early 2015, a conference on Indo-Germanic
language family.”

He also tweeted that he had an “in-depth exchange with Sanskrit Shikshak
Sangh leaders” on Sanskrit and German in a “very friendly atmosphere”.

The meeting comes in wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel raising the
issue with PM Narendra Modi in Australia on the sidelines of the G-20

Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh officials said the German Embassy had sought a meet
to discuss the issue. During the meeting, the body apprised the visiting
German delegation of reasons for opposing the move.

They said the MoU under which German was being taught in schools did not
have ministerial support.

Moreover, the MoU - signed between Goethe Institute Max Muller Bhavan,
Delhi, and Kendriya Vidhlayas in 2011 - violated the three language policy
as enunciated in the National Policy on Education, 1968, and National
Curriculum Framework 2005.

Germans were told that the HRD Ministry had not approved the MoU.


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