Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Madhya Pradesh Ganesh Singh on Thursday claimed that speaking Sanskrit on a regular basis boosts the nervous system and keeps diabetes and cholesterol under control.
Singh, who represents Satna in the Lok Sabha, made the remarks during a discussion on the Sanskrit Central Universities Bill, 2019, on Thursday. He claimed that his statement was based on research conducted by a US-based institution. The MP also claimed that US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration had said that computer programming in Sanskrit was always flawless. More than 97% of languages in the world, including a few Islamic languages, are based on Sanskrit, added the MP.
As writer Dilip D’Souza noted in this article published by Scroll in 2015, the claim about Sanskrit being the most suitable language for computer programming is based on a distortion of a paper by NASA researcher named Rick Briggs that was published in AI Magazine in 1985. Briggs noted that the grammar of Sanskrit – structured and rule-based – had significant lessons for developing AI systems that could understand natural languages, or the languages that humans speak. While Briggs write in the abstract that “a natural language can serve as an artificial language also”, he nowhere claimed that Sanskrit is “the most suitable language for computer software”.
The bill aims to convert three deemed Sanskrit universities to central universities. They are: Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in New Delhi, and the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati.
Union minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi, who addressed the Lower House Sanskrit, said the language was flexible and a single sentence can be spoken in a number of ways, News18 reported. He said various English words such as brother and cow were derived from Sanskrit.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” said the government wanted to strengthen all Indian languages, be it Tamil, Hindi, Kannada or Bangla. He said Sanskrit scriptures were a “treasure of knowledge” that contain everything from science to economics.