Q.: What are Your Holiness’s views on the language question?
H.H.: You are already familiar with them, are you not? I am an advocate of Sanskrit and English. None of the modern Indian languages—and I know most of them—
I interrupt: “—as thoroughly as those born to them, I understand.”
H.H.: I don’t know about that. None of them is half as good as Sanskrit and English. Sanskrit is our national lingua franca. It is still a living language, in a recognizable form, in Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Ceylon and several other countries. When we adopt Sanskrit as a national language, we show our readiness to share the common heritage of all the South-East Asian countries, which will at once accept India as one among them. Russian also contains the number of words deriving from Sanskrit. It is high time we raised our classical language to the status of a modern language for practical, utilitarian purposes. Meanwhile, let us not banish English from our hospitable land. It is a wonderful language, is it not? It is our only medium of communication with the outside world. For international contacts, very few languages in the world are as adequately equipped as English.