Former Chief Justice of India, Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said today while speaking at an event that he is hopeful that Sanskrit is introduced as an official language.

"Sanskrit is a viable secular language. There is still hope of Sanskrit being introduced as an official language", Justice Bobde said.

While saying that he is used to having his opinions criticised, Justice Bobde said that the Sanskrit he is talking about is not 'Dev Bhasha' that the speaker before him referred to, but Sanskrit as a Raj Basha, "as a Secular Bhasha".

He said that there are 60 to 70 per cent words from Sanskrit in Kannada, Odiya, Assamese, Urdu and many other languages. "I am sure we can develop a vocabulary of Sanskrit which will not offend anybody's religious faith because even Dharma in its root meaning is what brings people together and holds people together. We are not talking about dividing Society on the basis of language".

Referring to Article 351 of the Constitution of India, Justice Bobde said, "Hindi should be enhanced by introducing Sanskrit in Hindi. So if I ask myself a question with the utmost humility, then why not Sanskrit?"

Article 351 says that it shall be the duty of the Union to develop the Hindi language "by drawing, wherever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages".

He said that even English was introduced as a secular language. He quoted Lord Macaulay saying that it may make many peoples' blood boil, "Macaulay said, I trust I shall always abstain from giving any public encouragement to those who are engaged in the work of converting natives to Christianity. I will not encourage anybody who is indulging in conversion. But I will abolish Sanskrit, I will abolish Arabic and introduce English".

He said that it was possible to introduce English to a nation where nobody understood it, not only introduce it but make it prosper as an official language to a point that today in 2023 a former chief justice is speaking in English. He said that it was possible because it was introduced as a simple language. "It was not introduced as part of a religion", he said.

"I am not speaking against anybody's religion, including Hinduism. But I do believe Sanskrit can be separated from Dharma", Justice Bobde said.

He said that it is so because 85 to 90 per cent of Sanskrit literature is on subjects like astronomy, architecture, law, science, phonetics etc.

"The language does not belong either to North India or to South India. There's no question of opposing it on that ground. It has been found by one NASA scientist that it is best for use in a computer and can communicate messages in the fewest possible words", Justice Bobde said.

"I humbly submit that then that the time has come to do some rethinking on the official language part of it", the former Chief Justice of India said.

He said that when English was introduced, the vast majority of Indians did not understand it. He said that such a problem will not arise today as artificial intelligence can be used to create a vocabulary that can be understood by all.

He also said that language should not be imposed on anybody and that if Sanskrit is to be introduced, it has to be done properly and can take years.