The misconception over a possible national language of India as considered by many deluded Indians was entrenched further when the Union Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu falsely remarked that the shift to English from our “National Language”- Hindi is bringing about undesired changes in the mind-sets of the Indians. Naidu opines that the nation can only progress when Hindi is endorsed throughout the country and every state mandates learning this language. The statement sparked off major unrest in many parts of South India and Bengaluru where people protested against its imposition.

What does the Law Really Say?

Where Naidu and thousands of other citizens go wrong is clearly elucidated in Clause 1 Article 343 of the Constitution, which very lucidly states that Hindi is one of the official languages along with English. The Constitution also makes provisions for the operation of other languages than Hindi. Article 345 of the Constitution gives authorization for official languages that could be in regulation as per state laws.

The Article decrees – “The Legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State: Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution”.

Fallacious Arguments For Hindi

Another fallacious argument put up by people is based on the poorly drawn fact that most Indians are conversant in Hindi. A census formulated in 2001 reported that only 45% of Indian citizens can comprehend and speak the language while only 25% have it as their mother language. An amendment to the Constitution included the Eighth Schedule, which incorporates as many as 22 official languages in India encompassing – Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Sindhi, and the like. The BJP added fuel to the fire when it requisitioned Hindi learning in CBSE curriculum throughout the country. What incenses most non-Hindi speakers is the hypocrisy of Indian diversity. Our nation vaunts as being a secular and multidimensional country with varied ethnicity quartering myriad cultures. Being a part of a society as such goes in direct opposition to how the apparent minorities and their interests are treated against a favored majority.

The Central government seems to be a rather faithful compatriot when it comes to suppressing cultural ethnicity thus paving the way for a monochromatic hegemonic nation. A specific language should in no situation be shoved down people’s throats. The government under Modi, however, seems to be blindly indulging in the eventual suppression of regional languages in India. The dominance of Hindi in all spheres seems not only a ludicrous step keeping in mind India’s existential principle of being a conglomeration of separate identities unified despite cultural differences. We can only hope that the current situation does not result in a similar bifurcation that Pakistan suffered during the imposition of Urdu over its citizens.

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Anurag Gaur

Endings are never happy, they're the saddest part! So give me a happy middle, and a very happy start!

One response to “Hindi is our National Language?”

  1. Free Speech in Danger! Free Speech Deterioration in Modi's India says:

    […] should be India’s national language? You might be surprised by our take on the issue. Click here to read further and find […]

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