Kerala's Academy of Sharia and Advanced Studies teaches Hindu texts in Sanskrit to students

The MIC ASAS was teaching its students selective portions of the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Mahabharata and Ramayana in Sanskrit for the last seven years
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

The Academy of Sharia and Advanced Studies (ASAS) run by Malik Deenar Islamic Complex (MIC) was in the news recently for teaching Sanskrit, to its students with the help of Hindu scholars. Basic Sanskrit grammar in classes XI and XII followed by Bhagavad Gita as well as other Hindu texts in the language in subsequent years of study is the structured syllabus prepared for its students by an Islamic institute in Kerala's Thrissur district, as stated in a report by PTI

Moreover, the new syllabus will come into operation from June 2023 when the new academic year starts. Giving more details on this, the institute said that the decision to come out with a structured syllabus to teach the ancient and classical languages was taken to inculcate in the students' knowledge and awareness about other religions.

The MIC ASAS was teaching its students selective portions of the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Mahabharata, and Ramayana in Sanskrit for the last seven years. One of the coordinators at the institute, Hafiz Aboobacker told PTI that the earlier Sanskrit syllabus was not very detailed. The latest one is a syllabus for an eight-year course starting from plus two till post-graduation, he added. 

The coordinator stated that the students have the option to opt for a degree or post-graduate course in Sanskrit. 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, he added. 

Further sharing his thoughts on the aim behind this move, he said, 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. "It will also help to build secular and democratic ideas among students," he said.

Latest syllabus 

As per the latest syllabus, in plus two, the students would be familiarised with basic grammar, words, declensions, gender, number and sentence construction in Sanskrit. Following this, 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. 

Additionally, the syllabus shared by the institute added that during post-graduation, Vedic Suktas, Vedantasara, Dramaturgy, Upanishads, Natyasastra, yoga, Bhasa study and Book review will be included in the syllabus. Moreover, 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 with Calicut University, as stated in a report by PTI

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