Kota (Rajasthan): Knowledge of flawless Sanskrit is no longer enough for the pandits in Rajasthan.
With the growing demand for English-speaking Hindu priests at NRI weddings, pandits in Kota are now out to get their P's and Q's right, literally.
So the next time you visit any of the city's temples, don’t be surprised to see the priests rolling their tongues right and softening the consonants.
Such is the demand for English-speaking pandits, that many of them have even taken to attending language classes with BPO aspirants!
Most of them are mastering the language so they can translate the religious chants and let the world make some sense out of them. Like Vinay Tewari, a priest in Kota who can now recite the Gayatri Mantra in fluent English.
This new trend has taken on big time with Rajasthan becoming a major destination for NRI weddings.
Figures show at least 30 NRI weddings are to take place in the state in the coming months and the numbers are rising.
Hence, priests comfortable with English are much sought after.
“They (NRIs) have a spirit of inquiry. They want to know why are you saying this shloka. And they don't understand Sanskrit so they want to know the meaning behind it,” says an English teacher Sanjay Chawla.
The 20-day module in English is turning out to be quite popular with the pundits. While they can only get the basics right with the training for now, many pandits also see it as a first step to a dream job abroad.
2007-01-20 Source : www.ibnlive.com