Is one language enough?

India Oct 21, 2020

When the Indian Constitution was drafted, the issue of choosing one National language arose. Members of Hindi speaking provinces pushed for the language to be adopted as the sole national language.

But a widespread opposition to this pro-hindi amendment was seen which led to the Official Languages Act of 1963 which stated that English would be used for all official purposes while state governments were free to function in regional languages or the language of their choice.

The constitutional directive for the Union government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained within Central government entities in non-Hindi-speaking States.

While maintaining one language, we have to remember that regional languages are dying and our future generations may end up never understanding their 'real' roots and culture. Hindi cannot be a sole focus while the merit of other languages are lost.

On September 15, 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah appealed that Hindi be made the primary language, saying that it is necessary to have one to represent India. The statement by the Home Minister faced backlash by many southern parties who till date oppose any imposition or the idea of having one sole national language.

Parties from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka stressed upon the fact that Hindi was among the 22 languages recognised by the Constitution and their stature is the same

Our country is known for diversity, then why restrict ourselves to one language? Unity is in lingual equality and not in imposition of one particular language.

This article has been written by Riya Rajayyan for The Paradigm

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