Debate on national language in India

Published: Sun 23 Apr 2017, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Apr 2017, 10:45 PM

The Indian constitution or any law of the land has not so far declared Hindi (though largely spoken), or any other language, as the national language, on account of India's linguistic and cultural diversity. One of your readers had rightly pointed it earlier this week in this column. The status of Hindi, not being a national language, has been well brought out in the judgment delivered by a Division Bench of the High Court of Gujarat in the year 2010.
There is a distinction between a language being national in essence and character and being "official" in law, as may be evident in the present Indian set-up. Past efforts to make Hindi as the national language, and to discontinue the use of the English language, have only ended up in a fiasco. In the absence of an acclaimed lingua franca, the official languages in vogue for the avowed "official purposes" in governments, are bound to sail on, for the time being.
But when it comes to language policy and implementation, vis-a-vis formative education and learning in schools, the former cannot eschew the indispensability of a mother tongue for reasons obvious, and a viable link language as a common vehicle for communication.
Mohan Kumar Raman, Dubai

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