Basic Sanskrit grammar in class 11 and 12 and then Bhagavad Gita as well as other Hindu texts in the 'Deva Bhasha' in subsequent years of study is the structured syllabus prepared for its students by an Islamic institute in Kerala's Thrissur district.
The new syllabus will come into operation from June 2023 when the new academic year starts. The Academy of Sharia and Advanced Studies (ASAS) run by Malik Deenar Islamic Complex (MIC) was in the news recently for setting an example by teaching Sanskrit, also known as 'Deva Bhasha', to its students with the help of Hindu scholars. The decision, to come out with a structured syllabus to teach the ancient and classical language, was taken to inculcate in the students, knowledge and awareness about other religions, the institute said.
The MIC ASAS was teaching its students selective portions of the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Mahabharata, Ramayana in Sanskrit for the last seven years. Hafiz Aboobacker, one of the coordinators at the institute, told PTI that the earlier Sanskrit syllabus was not very detailed. The latest one is a syllabus for a eight-year course starting from plus two till post graduation, he said.
The students will now also have the option to opt for a degree or post-graduate course in Sanskrit, Aboobacker said. He said the syllabus was a joint effort of Dr C M Neelakandan -- a retired professor of Sanskrit Literature from the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit -- and Dr Shamseer P C -- assistant professor, department of Sanskrit, Kerala University. The idea was not to just teach them a language, but to also familiarise students with these ancient Hindu texts so that they understand religion and can make informed decisions for themselves, he said.
"It will also help to build secular and democratic ideas among students," he said. According to the latest syllabus, in plus two, the students would be familiarised with basic grammar, words, declensions, gender, number and sentence construction in Sanskrit. After that, during the first two years of their undergraduate studies, they would be taught Mahakavya, basic grammar, Sanskrit drama, computer, Sanskrit stotra, grammar, prose and Tarkasamgraha -- a treatise in Sanskrit giving a foundational exposition of the ancient Indian system of logic and reasoning.
In the final year, Bhagavad Gita, translation and Sankhya would be taught to students, according to the syllabus shared by the institute. During post-graduation, syllabus would include Vedic Suktas, Vedantasara, Dramaturgy, Upanishads, Natyasastra, yoga, Bhasa study and Book review, it said. The institution is primarily a Sharia college where other languages, like Urdu and English are also taught besides a degree course in Arts as it is affiliated to Calicut University.