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Chamu Krishna Shastry
Born (1956-01-23) 23 January 1956 (age 68)
Alma materRashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati
OccupationSanskrit language activist.
Years active1981–present
Known forRevival of Sanskrit
MovementSpeak Samskritam Movement (1981)
Board member ofChairman, High Powered Committee for the Promotion of Indian Languages, Ministry of Education (India), Government of India,[1]
Member of Constitution of Mission High Level committee (MHLC) of Indian Knowledge System (IKS).
SpouseSarita Shastry[2]
ChildrenChamu Shiva Shastry[3]
  • Chamu Ishwara Shastry[4] (father)
AwardsPadmashri (2017)

Chamu Krishna Shastry[5] (born 23 January 1956) is an Indian Educationist who has been working for the revival of the Sanskrit language. He is the trustee and Secretary of Samskrit Promotion Foundation. He is also the co-founder of Samskrita Bharati. Now he is spearheading a movement to teach Sanskrit Through Sanskrit On 25 January 2017, Government of India announced "Padma Shri" award in the category Literature and education for his contribution towards the promotion of Sanskrit.[6]

Early life

Shastry was born on 23 January 1956 in Kedila village near Mangalore (Bantwal taluk).[4] He learnt Sanskrit from the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha at Tirupati.[3][7] As a teenaged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker Shastry was imprisoned during the Emergency. Alone in his cell, he took to reading biographies. In the writings of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Swami Vivekananda he learnt how Sanskrit could unlock scientific, mathematical and medical knowledge buried in ancient Sanskrit texts.[8]


Speak Samskrit movement

Krishna Shastry, along with some of his friends, went on to start the ‘Speak Samskrit’ Movement in 1981 from Bangalore.[3] His method of teaching Sanskrit is to let the student learn it in the same language rather than through another language by translation.[9] Learning Sanskrit can be a forbidding exercise because it is being taught through translation. To make it easier for the students, Shastry's method is not to learn the language through grammar, but to teach Sanskrit as it is spoken.[10] Students thus do not have to wrestle with the nuances of an arcane syntactics. It's then easier to master the language, so much so that even semi-literate people can opt for the course.

Samskrita Bharati

Main article: Samskrita Bharati

The movement eventually evolved into the not-for-profit organisation Samskrita Bharati, a voluntary body committed to the cause of Sanskrit.[3] Shastry's efforts led to the development of the very popular "Ten-day Sanskrit Speaking Course" of Samskrita Bharati. He has inspired a dedicated work force for Sanskrit across the country which is leading the propagation work at various states. Samskrita Bharati and Shastry have been implementing the 10 day course through a network of 250 full-time workers and 5,000[10] Sanskrit Bharati volunteers. It also helps that the course is offered for free.[11] Samskrita Bharati has enabled nearly one crore people to learn and converse in Sanskrit the language, one lakh of whom have decided to use Sanskrit at home in true ancient style.[11]

Shastry's efforts have also led many universities and colleges to adopt the communicative teaching method for Sanskrit. In the US, SAFL (Samskrit as a Foreign Language) is a popular course among the children of Indian origin. Samskrita Bharati is active all over India and in 13 countries including USA, Canada, UK and the UAE.[3] The organisation is also credited with the revival of Sanskrit in Gujarat[12]

A few unique experiments like "Samskrit Homes" and "Samskrit mother tongue Children" are popular. "Saraswati Seva" is a project through which hundreds of books from other Indian and foreign Languages are translated into Sanskrit. To promote young authors and modern books in Sanskrit he has organised events such as "Samskrit Book Fair", and "Sahityotsava".[citation needed]


Shastry sees Sanskrit as being India's lingua franca.[12] He says, "Till now Samskrit has only been seen from a spiritual or religious perspective; it is high time Samskrit is approached from a scientific point of view as well."[3] He opines that Sanskrit would be a unifying factor in India.[13]

Shastry believes in taking Sanskrit to the under-privileged. He echoes Dr. Ambedkar's support[14] for Sanskrit as a platform for enabling social upliftment and equality.[2]

Samskrit Promotion Foundation

Krishna shastry has helped to start the Samskrit Promotion Foundation, which is an institution in developing Sanskrit Tutorials for students and in producing various new course materials for "Sanskrit for Special Purposes"[15] a not for profit trust, that aims to "popularise Samskrit" in India again and among other objectives leverage Samskrit as an "effective tool" to socially and economically "empower the weaker sections" of the society. The trustees include eminent citizens like former Chief Justice of India R. C. Lahoti, for Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami, Justice Rama Jois, S. Gurumurthy, among others. Shastry is a key trustee and secretary[2] of this trust.[16]

Influencing policy

Shastry spends most of his time on teacher training, workshops, making of learning material and discussing Sanskrit education with policy makers. He believes that not just Sanskrit as language, but modern subjects like chemistry, maths, history etc. should also be taught through Sanskrit.[3]

He was also a member of the Central Government constituted Sanskrit Committee that developed the "Road Map for the Development of Sanskrit – Ten Year Perspective Plan" document in 2016.[17]


His extensive experience in education and teaching methods has led to his being on the Board of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan[2] and many other universities.

Shastry is a much renowned speaker and he is highly regarded for his fluent and fiery oratory in Sanskrit.[17] He believes in the dictum of the Bhagavad Gita to work towards a goal without expectations and has taken a personal vow of not accepting honors and awards.[citation needed] He is a prolific writer and has written a dozen books and numerous articles in Sanskrit.[citation needed]


He has authored 13 books in the Sanskrit language.



  1. ^ (PDF) ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Subrahmanya, Sudhee (10 February 2017). "With a vision for Sanskrit". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Unni, Aparna (4 August 2012). "A classic case of Chamu Sastry". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Revolutionary educationists get Padma Shri". The Hindu. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ "vijayavani, ನಾಡಿನ 9 ಸಾಧಕರಿಗೆ ಪದ್ಮ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಕಿರೀಟ, 26.01.2017". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  6. ^ "PadmaAwards-2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2017.
  7. ^ Fishman, Joshua; Garcia, Ofelia (1 January 2010). Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity:The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts (Volume 2): The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts (|). Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 9780195392456.
  8. ^ Mahurkar, Uday. "The Right Word". India Today. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  9. ^ "A man's bid to revive deva vani, Sanskrit". Daily News and Analysis. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  10. ^ a b Venkatraman, Vijaysree (5 July 2007). "Sanskrit echoes around the world". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b Mahurkar, Uday. "The Right Word". India Today. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  12. ^ a b India Today International. Living Media India Limited. 1 January 1999.
  13. ^ India Today. Thomson Living Media India Limited. 1 January 2000.
  14. ^ Manohar Joshi, Murli (25 April 2016). "Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit as national language: Murli Manohar". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "Padma award winners from Karnataka are an eclectic mix". The Hindu. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Sanskrit will flourish despite Prejudices of Left, Libtards: Chamu Krishna Shastry". THe Hindu Business Line. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2018.