#MannKiBaat, PM Narendra Modi spoke on teaching of Sanskrit in Thailand

Bangkok. Thailand: In the 80th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ on 29 August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about teaching of Sanskrit language in Thailand and other countries.

He said that Sanskrit has played an important role in strengthening of cultural relations between India and Thailand. In this context, he mentioned two Sanskrit scholars from Thailand namely Asst. Prof. Dr. Chirapat Prapandvidya and Prof. Dr. Kusuma Raksamani who have played a pivotal role in promoting Sanskrit in Thailand.

Sanskrit has deep influence on the philosophy, religion, languages and literature of the people of various countries in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand. It has been taught in Thailand for more than 100 years. In order to promote Sanskrit study and research, Silpakorn University approved the proposal on establishment of Sanskrit Studies Centre in 1996. The Centre is under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who is herself an Indologist and a Sanskrit scholar in her own right. She is the recipient of the first World Sanskrit Award and the Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India, as well as an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Sanskrit) from Delhi University. Construction of the building of Sanskrit Studies Centre of Silpakorn University is partially funded by the Government of India.

As the founder and first Director of Sanskrit Studies Centre, Asst. Prof. Dr. Chirapat Prapandvidya has played a significant role in popularizing the teaching and research of Sanskrit in Thailand. He has encouraged and motivated the students and teachers of Sanskrit Studies in Thailand to understand and appreciate Indian culture and heritage, to study Sanskrit and do further studies and research in this field. He has made continuous efforts to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the Sanskrit scholars of India and Thailand through his translation into Thai language of Sanskrit texts and research articles.

Prof. Dr. Kusuma Raksamani is another Sanskrit Scholar who has made a great contribution to the promotion of Sanskrit in Thailand. She received her Masters and Doctor of Philosophy in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from the University of Toronto, Canada. She had been a lecturer of Thai and Sanskrit at Silpakorn University until her retirement. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Thailand in Comparative Literature Field and has many publications to her credit.

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