In Chennai in a speech I had said that it is the spirit of Sanskrit which unites India. Several people have asked how can Sanskrit unite us as a nation when it is spoken or known by less than 1% people in India ?
It is true that very few people speak or know Sanskrit in India today. But I had spoken of the spirit of Sanskrit, not Sanskrit itself. What is this spirit ? It is the spirit of free thinkers, the spirit of the questioning mind, which questions everything.
The range of subjects dealt with in Sanskrit literature is remarkable, it covers subjects like philosophy, science, law, grammar, literature, etc.
For instance, in philosophy Sanskrit literature covers a very wide range, wider than even the ancient Greeks, from total atheism of the Charvaks to the most religious views of Vedanta etc.
I have written about all this in my article ' Sanskrit as a language of Science '
Unfortunately those who criticized my view think that Sanskrit is only a language of chanting mantras in temples or religious ceremonies. But, as I have pointed out in my article, that is only about 5% of Sanskrit literature. The remaining 95% or so has nothing to do with religion. How many people have heard of Aryabhatta, Sushrut, Vijnaneshwar or Panini ?
If India is to progress our people must develop the scientific questioning and rational attitude which is found in 95% of Sanskrit literature.