BIJAPUR: These days, a revival in ancient languages is palpable, and Sanskrit is no longer a forgotten tongue. There is also talk of establishing a Sanskrit and Vedic university in the state. But off campus, right in the city, is a trader who uses the language for his day-to-day business.
3R Garments Shop, at Meenakshi Chowk in Bijapur city is owned by Ram Singh Rajput. He has eight employees, and for the past eight years, they have been using the language for business. Ram Singh says there is no difficulty in using the language. "After we started using Sanskrit, our customers increased. Most of the customers first want to talk and learn some Sanskrit, then they buy clothes." Inadvertently, it has worked as an advertising gimmick. Ram Singh is an active member of the Sanskrit Bharati organization. He had learnt Sanskrit at a 10-day camp, and then started using it at home. After that, he introduced it for the first time in his business. He has now done his MA in Sanskrit. His inspiration is North Karnataka's most powerful seer, Siddeshwar
swamiji. On many occasions, the seer has introduced Ram Singh to his followers as the "Sanskrit man and his family", which inspired Singh to learn more. His younger brothers, Mohan Singh and Vitthal Singh, also work in the shop. All of them speak Sanskrit fluently, though their mother tongue is Hindi. According to the brothers, Sanskrit is the language of God, and learning it purifies a person's life by reducing bad habits and arrogant behaviour. "We automatically become polite, and good thoughts come to our mind," they say. Says Mohan Singh: "Our customers believe more in us because of our language. They don't bother to question the price, but pay what we quote because they feel we do not deceive anybody. We too keep their faith." Following this attraction at Ram Singh's shop, now barbers, kirana shop owners, beauty parlours, cloth merchants and several traders have begun to use Sanskrit as their business language.