Maharaja’s Government Sanskrit College, Mysuru established in 1868 by Mummudi KrishnaRaja Wodiyar and sustained with the loving care and patronage by successive maharajas is presently languishing in a sad state of neglect. From the portals of this college many eminent scholars have graduated spreading their knowledge in Vedas, Sanskrit grammar, Dharma Shastra, Jyotishya etc which are the foundation of cultural heritage of India bequeathed to the world.
In its hey days, it flourished as the fountain head of knowledge in classical literature and thought. It embedded the quintessential wisdom of our Rishis revealed to them during their sadhana. This knowledge is available in valuable scholarly books that abound in the library. Unfortunately, out of four persons required to manage the affairs of library, three posts are vacant. In this situation how can students can make effective use of library? Besides, absence of basic hostel facilities student intake has been dwindling from year to year while with lack of maintenance of rooms everything looks drab and is in a state of deterioration presenting a pathetic picture.
It had once excellent academic ambience resembling Gurukula system which is a very effective medium of transmission of knowledge from Guru to Shiyas which is a unique Indian tradition. However, the present situation does not inspire any confidence. It is appropriate to recall that during the reign of Nalwadi, Sanskrit college saw many splendoured developments. Another distinction was along with Vedas, Shukla Yajurveda, research and holding yoga classes started. Under the presidentship of Nalwadi, golden jubilee celebrations were held in 1925 and its reputation spread world wide. Jayachamaraja Wodiyar continued in the footsteps of his predecessor to continue its all round development. In 1950 the administration came under the government.
As regards its unique feature of Sanskrit, it is considered as the world’s most scientific language. Its greatness lies in the fact that despite being the oldest language, it has not in any way affected any regional language and on the contrary, it has enriched it for it has served as Kamadhenu. The tragedy is that while it is being encouraged in other states and even being avidly studies in other countries, the prime example being Denmark, it has not received its due importance in Karnataka. The other distressing aspect is that though Mysore and Bangalore Sanskrit college have been declared as Unit colleges under Sanskrit University, the faculty members though have high sounding titles, they do not get UGC scale as the matter is hanging fire since 2010 since the responsibility for fixation of pay is being tossed between the University and the government.
Probably, another historically interesting aspect is Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of Mysore in his book ’My publc life’ writes as follows: ‘I was able to do much for the Sanskrit College at Mysore, an institution which was managed by the palace and was, therefore directly under my control. It was reserved exclusively for the students of the Brahmin community, and they acquired the ancient learning by the old orthodox methods. As was to be expected, there was strong opposition to the reservation of a public institution, maintained from public revenues, for the benefit of a single community. While sympathizing with this point of view in principle, I was not in favour of throwing open the college to non-Brahmin students. I felt that this would destroy the peculiar orthodox atmosphere of this institution and convert it to an ordinary Sanskrit college. I therefore suggested that to the Representative Assembly that the Sanskrit college in Bangalore might be open to all Hindu students, but that in Mysore might still be reserved for those of the Brahmin community. The Assembly approved of the compromise, and the Mysore college was saved from further attack. It would be difficult to say how long under the new dispensation it will continue to enjoy this immunity. But I hope it will be left alone’. Since there is winds of change sweeping the country now and reservation has become a rule rather then an exception, Sir Mirza Ismail’s hope has not been fulfilled.
As a result of the above developments there is a gradual reduction of intake of students from year to year. For example in 2013 there were 300 students and presently it is down to 200 who hail from all parts of India. Since there is no fresh recruitment of teachers it will not be surprising if the numbers will gradually come down with the college in real danger of seeing dark future. Presently, out of 17 Divisions originally created to teach various subjects, there are only 12 Divisions. Also out of sanctioned strength of 52 posts the faculty position is dismal with 25 posts not filled up there are 27 vacancies which accounts to more than 50 % .
In fact the vacancies are in most important divisions of teaching Advaita Vedanta, Dwaitha Vedanta, Rig Veda,Yoga and Jyothisya which are the most important cultural heritage that have attracted scholars all over the world Needles to say that United Nations has accepted India initiative to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day since 2015 which has given a new impetus to learn and practice Yoga all over the world. Added to the woes is the fact that since 19 years ie from 1997 no recruitment of teachers has been done!
In absence of full complement other teachers have to bear the brunt of excess pressure and naturally it will reflect on the quality of teaching adversely. The appointment of teachers seems to be caught in a conundrum by advancing a strange logic of not sufficient students being attracted to opt for study whereas the reality is otherwise for if the institution appoints scholars of repute there will be renewed surge of interest for students to join. This is also important as in the present environment when values in society are reaching a new low, it would be incumbent on the government of the day to help to breathe a new life to the College so that it will serve as a harbinger to spread and for upholding values in society.
The building itself stands out as good example of heritage structure but is in a sad state of neglect.. Mysore City Corporation looks after its maintenance and when I attended the Kavi Ghosti held two years ago in the same hall in which the Maharaajas used to hold it in their time,. I was shocked to see the deterioration all round due to lack of maintenance with mortar peeling off and wood work had deteriorated and as if to confirm it the roof started leaking profusely as it was raining on that day !
It is time the state government should not allow this magnificent edifice of learning and a pride of Mysore which is showing all the signs of gradual deterioration both academically and as a heritage structure and take immediate steps to arrest the same. Failure to revive and rejuvenate the college to its old glory would amount to committing sacrilege to the name of the Royal family of Mysore who nurtured it with such loving care.
– H R Bapu Satyanarayana