June 16, 2024

Indian linguist and scholar of Vedic culture Ramchandra Narayan Dandekar alias R. N Dandekar. In memory of this, Fergusson College organizes Sanskrit one-act Play competitions every year. The primary objective of this competition is to preserve and promote the Sanskrit language. Every year students from all over Maharashtra participate in this competition. In this one-act competition held in the month of March this year, the two contestants were neither Marathi-speaking, nor Indian, nor was Sanskrit their mother tongue. Name of those contestants, ‘Carol Rodriguez’ and Shuhang Zhang. Both of them participated in the competition from the “Department of Sanskrit Language of the American Institute of Indian Studies” in Pune.

Who Are Shuhang Zhang and Carol Rodriguez?

Shuhang Zhang is a native of China and is currently a student of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, while Carol Rodriguez is a native of Cuba and is currently a student at the University of Florida. Both Shuhang and Carol performed a one-act play based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, “Sa Sumaramani”, starring only two female characters. P. L. Deshpande presented the same one-act play in Marathi as ‘Ti Phulrani’. Bhakti Barve acted in that play and made an Unforgettable mark on the Marathi stage. Head of the Sanskrit Department of the American Institute of Indian Studies Dr. Madhura Godbole did a very soulful Sanskrit adaptation of this one-act play and took this one-act play very painstakingly from both Shuhang and Rodriguez.

Both Shuhang and Carol, who have no taste for Indian theatre Or Indian culture, performed this one-act play with great effort only for the love of the Sanskrit language and Indian culture and won the praise of the people. Shuhang and Carol are Chinese and Cuban respectively, with different mother tongues of course. Among them, the English language is the same Bridge of Understanding the whole process. Still, it was a Himalayan kind of challenge for both of them to master the Sanskrit language at the level of consonants and pronunciation and to present all the one-act plays in that language. But kudos to both Shuhang and Carol for taking up this challenge with Determination.

Promotion and Preservation of the Sanskrit Language is Essential.

Shuhang and Carol are actually Motivation for us. In this background, our ancient language Sanskrit should be widely spread. In the current situation, this promotion and dissemination is going on from the government level through various means, but at the same time, schools and colleges should organize various competitions of this kind continuously and encourage maximum number of students to participate in it. Because only then will it help to spread our ancient and rich Sanskrit language far and wide. and simultaneously it will also help our country’s rich culture and heritage to reach across the seas.

 

 

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