Wednesday, December 13, 2006

India does NOT have a National Language

Part XVII of the constitution:
This part 17, defines an OFFICIAL language, NOT a national language.

Article 345: This gives the State govt., power to decide its own "OFFICIAL LANGUAGE"

Article 343: This defines Hindi in devangari script and English to be the "OFFICIAL LANGUAGES" of union govt.

DIFFERENCE between National and Official Language:

NATIONAL LANGUAGE: Defines the people of the nation, culture, history.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: A language that is used for official communication

While a National language by default can become the Official language, an Official language has to be APPROVED legally to become the National language.

All languages spoken in India, starting from the most populous to the least are our national languages, because all of them define the people of this nation, culture and their history collectively.

India has NO LEGALLY DEFINED NATIONAL LANGUAGES ONLY 23 OFFICIAL languages as per the constitution.


Anonymous said...

I wholly agree with your analysis. For a Tamilian, with our rich culture and heritage, we don't need Hindi to be foisted on us.

We have to stand by our language, which defines us as Tamils.

Jithu said...

Well said!!!!!!!!!

ரவிசங்கர் said...

much needed blog. keep posting

Anonymous said...

No language is declared as National Language in The Constitution of India. Hindi speaking people are a minority when compared with the entire India. Hindi is a dialect of Urdu and not a pure language. But Tamil is a virgin, original language which a rich literature and classical vocabulary far exceeding any other language in India. It is far far superior to Hindi which is unrefined when compared with Tamil. Hindi can never be accepted as a National language.


Who can define a National Language? How can India, a nation which contains people speaking diverse languages have 1 language as national? Take any language. Majority do not speak that language. The best would be English. Imperialism is a blessing in disguise. We can speak English fluently and get jobs in USA. It would be narrow mindedness to declare Hindi as National Language. Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi, who are great thinkers have committed such a serious blunder in trying to declare Hindi as National Language. As anonymous said it is an unrefined language.

Anonymous said...

Please sign the petition :

India's language policy: time for a rethink

Sujay Rao Mandavilli

Mitesh Ashar said...

Check out:

In this article I and Rishabh have written about the following:

- How we discovered Hindi isn't our national language
- The orkut discussions and polls we conducted after finding it out
- Why it does not seem to us that it is a very big issue that India does not have any national language

Anonymous said...

We love and respect all Indian languages equally. Including Hindi. We share the dream of India becoming a global superpower.

Here are 29 objections to India's language policy:

(a) Biased policy: Three language formula : Some states have two languages some states have three (The so-called third
language in Hindi speaking states was never implemented and is in any case outside the economic equation).
Excepting for marxist countries, no country in the world can sustain national integration in the long run by promoting the
statistical language of the majority. People can check this with anybody they want. what do you mean by majority ?
Are all "dialects" of Hindi really Hindi ?

(b) While we want indians to intermingle with each other and settle in different parts of the country, Policies like this may
eventually lead the people of one community think they are superior to others. While we want languages to spread, they must
spread natually. I have even as recently as 2006 seen Hindi fanatics who talk of destroying other Indian languages.

(c) This is opposed to the spirit of fedaralism; In a multi-ethnic society and in a federation like India. Politicians
cannot select the language of a few states like that. without taking the permission of all states first since it affects
their welfare. Some states need to study an extra subject which is not useful to them although Hindi as a written
language is dead ouside the hindi belt.

(d) Majoritiyism decreases the dynamic stability of a country. All parts of India have economic connections with
other parts of the world and not with the Hindi heartland.

(e) Nehruvian language policies are based on unnatural and unsustainable paradigms.

For example. some states have two, some states have three languages. If English is removed (as some Hindi zealots may
want to in the long run), some states will have two, some will have one. Those who have one, have it as their native language.
since this is opposed to the principles of fair
play and justice. It will lead to a counter-reaction. Since Independence, India has been promoting English directly and
indirectly as a reaction to Hindi. Today, English is 10000 times more entrenched in India than it was during the British raj

(f) India's language policy is completely at odds with its own constitution. This has confused people and destroyed the
Hindi belt

(g) Centralization is antithetical to the very idea of India:

"Over-centralization (1947-1991) destroyed India. Now liberalization is reuniting India."

(h) Nehruvian India (1947-1991) and Post-Nehruvian India (>1991) are complelty different.

Our national integration strategies are horrendously outdated. India between 1947 to 1991 and after 1991 are two
completely different countries unrelated to each other. We must come
to grips with this fact and revise our policies accordingly.
Making Hindi international languages are just last ditch attempts to save a failed national language.

(i) Just to give people an example. this strategy is incompatible with the 21st century and with Human rights.

Switzerland has a French speaking and a German speaking part. Suppose a politician
decided to "select" German. Some parts will have two languages, some will have one.
The first half wants to destroy the second half. Then the second half comes up with
a strategy to destroy the first half. Then the first half gets destroyed. Then the first half
gets upset and comes up with a new strategy to destroy the second half.
This is what is happening in India. This is not the way to promote national integration.

(j) Hindi is only spreading based on the law of convenience. As a written language it is already dead outside the Hindi belt

I have never seen any written usage of Hindi outside the hindi belt in my life outside a central government office.
Don't take India back to the Nehruvian era! It is not possible.

(k) The language of a particular state as National language may unite superficially, but it unites only because it is
compensating for the weaknesses of English which is too elitist to spread as an entry level language. It divides beyond
a point. Hence, it encourages English even more.

(l) India's National language policy was never formulated on the principles of federalism.
All states should get together and formulate national integration strategies.

(m) You will simply be horrified to hear the History of Hindi as a national language
Please see the track record of Hindi

On December 10, 1946, effectively the first day of business, R.V. Dhulekar of the United Provinces moved an amendment. When
he began speaking in Hindustani, the Chairman reminded him that many members did not know the language. This was Dhulekar's
reply: "People who do not know Hindustani have no right to stay in India. People who are present in this House to fashion a
Constitution for India and do not know Hindustani are not worthy to be members of this Assembly. They had better leave."
The remarks created a commotion in the House. "Order, order!" yelled the Chairman, but Dhulekar then moved that "the
Procedure Committee should frame rules in Hindustani and not in English. As an Indian I appeal that we, who are out to win
freedom for our country and are fighting for it should think and speak in our own language (SINGULAR!). We have all along
been talking of America, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and the House of Commons. It has given me a headache. I wonder why
Indians do not speak in their own language (SINGULAR!). As an Indian I feel that the proceedings of the House should be
conducted in Hindustani. We are not concerned with the history of the world. We have the history of our own country of
millions of past years."

The printed proceedings continue:

"The Chairman: Order, order!
Shri R.V. Dhulekar (speaking still in Hindustani): I request you to allow me to move my amendment.
The Chairman: Order, order! I do not permit you to proceed further. The House is with me that you are out of order(MAD)."

(o) No private sector will support the language of one community in a multiligual country. This is encouraging the govement
to ask the private sector to follow unnatural policies which go against the spirit of national integration.

Look at Google, Orkut. They start the services in all Indian languages and and always
respect the sentiments of all Indians. The Central government does not !

(p) Some Hindi zealots already have a track record of trying to destroying linguistic minorities.

(q) This is encouraging Hindi zealots to make Hindi an international language. How can you
make the language of one state or a group of states an intenational language when Indians themselves have not accepted it
as an National language ?

(r) What do you mean by acceptance? As a written language Hindi is dead outside the Hindi belt. Everywhere it is taught only
as a third language. (if at all)

(s) If India replaces English with Hindi thorough unnatural means, it is dangerous for the country's unity. Look at Kashmir.

Just because a person speaks to his friends in Hindi and watches Hindi movies. it means nothing. Why will he make himself
subservient to people of another state when Hindi as a written language is dead outside the Hindi belt? These people (1947-
1991) follow outdated models and do not have a concept of India and the dynamics of its economics. This is just like the
Pakistan / Bangladesh break up or the conflict in Sri Lanka.

(t) The central goverments plan is opposed to the principle of fedaralism. some people are genuinely concerned that the
people of one community will be encouraged take the upper hand. In a federation, the central government can go ahead only if
ALL Non-Hindi speaking state governments FORMALLY accept this in writing since they are concerned about the welfare of their
own citizens.(To begin with India's language policy is unnatural. Take any linguistic expert outside India through the
details, he will be horrified.)

(u) Hindi is the language of the worst part of India, a region known for its poverty, illiteracy and disease. Why
are these people so worried about making Hindi an international language when their region is the second most backward
region in the world after Sub-saharan Africa and is dragging India down economically? That too without taking the prior
written permission of other Indians ?
Given the horrendous track records of some Hindi zealots, we am alarmed.
(v) Why don't they develop the economies of their own states first? As Indians, we will be proud if Bihar becomes the most
advanced state in India ! We will be extremely proud of this fact and let this be known internationally.
(w) The language policy of India has often been synonymous with words such as Imposition, enforcement, demands for

Independance. what sort of a language policy is this? Even the British did not spread their language like this. Hindi worked
only as an entry-level link language and not as a national language. Please understand this fact. Don't pass the petition to
make Hindi an international language until TAMILNADU signs in writing. It is not good for the unity and integrity of India.

(x) In Tamilnadu and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh, language is worshipped as a religion. India's language policies are
designed by people (1947-1991) who had no concept of India.

(y) A neutral language like Sanskrit or Prakrit can be selected. Karnataka and Kerela were ready for this although it is a new language for them. Only some Hindi zealots opposed it. How can you judge patriotism like this? Please don't beleive
Doordarshan propaganda.

(z) There are a range of possible solutions for national integration. literally thousands !
The central government sets up a body to promote all Indian languages without bias or prejudice giving incentives to
scholars, setting up libraries in all states, setting up institutes for the study of Indian languages in all states,
translating books into all Indian languages, setting up virtual libraries in all Indian languages,
Making the study of ANY one Indian language for a specific number of years mandatory for all Indians.
This is just a small sample of possibilities. Check the models followed in Canada, Switzerland and Mauritius.
Except in Marxist countries, Nobody follows this kind of a national intergaration strategy. Spreading the language
of the "majority" may be a good short term strategy, but it can never be a good long term strategy. All marxist countries
have broken up.

(aa) Hindi is not even a National language according to the constitution.Please read the Indian constitution.

(ab) Even today many educated South Indians do not speak to educated North Indians in Hindi. Reason: Minority rights. Even if
they speak it just for fun and not in formal situations.

(ac) Bhojpuri, Mythili, Urdu, Angika and Santhali may not even technically be a part of Hindi. Discuss this with liguists.
some of them have their own entertainment industry, scripts etc.
So figures given by Hindi zealots are highly suspect. Making Hindi a language of the UN are just last-ditch attempt to save a failed national language.
People with even basic intelligence know it cannot become a national language through natural means.


Anonymous said...

Here are some alternative national integration strategies

Major problems with Hindi are

(a) Some states have one some language and some have two languages in case English is removed in the long run (First

discriminating factor)
(b) Those who have Hindi have it as their mother tongue (Second discriminating factor) (c) In Telegu medium schools, we can

only have Hindi as second language (Third discrimonating factor)
(d) Those who take over the job market through unnatural means can automatically destroy other cultures.(Fourth

discriminating factor).

This would keep on producing counter reactions, create long-term instability if imposed through artificial means, encourage

English even more, encourage laziness at the expense of merit, encourage politically-induced uni-directional migrations,

allow both English and Hindi to kill other Indian languages, encourage the learning of foreign languages at the expense of

Indian languages, have other side effects (Hindi as an entry level link language in Non-Hindi speaking states) and end up

destroying its own creators.

While this may be a short term strategy, this would clearly be a unworkable long term policy

This kind of a language policy is clearly opposed to the dynamics of a free market and even common sense (why will anybody

learn something if he thinks it can destroy him) and
is a relic of the Nehruvian era. Furthermore Hindi cannot even replace English according to the Indian constitution.

Furthermore, Hindi (khadi bholi) is only the official language of the Central government. Rajasthani, Mythili (45 million

speakers) are separate languages according to the eighth schedule, Bhojpuri (150 million speakers) has a rival entertainment

industry, Urdu (75 million speakers) and Angika (30 million speakers) are clearly separate languages.

Furthermore, apart from Marxist societies, there was never any concept of "selecting" "national" languages.
However kings and rulers often selected administrative languages based on discussions with various people.

Alternative strategies

We can implement a combination of all these)

(a) Language of the state, English and Sanksrit (those who don't want to take Sanskrit may opt for Urdu) (In vernacular

In English medium schools, English, Sanskrit/ Urdu. However, people must learn a little bit of the local language.

(b) Some kind of Prakrit as third language (all states and communities must give an
in principle approval before hand. All states and communities must get together and form a committee )

(c) Present three language formula. However, instead of Hindi , we can opt for any one
living Indian language (excepting for the language of the state / urdu and sanskrit)
This must be implemented by Hindi speaking states also.
(d) Have schools only in the local language till 5th standard. (All states and boards must simultaneously
English will be taught as a second language.
People coming to another state must study in the language of the state.

However, one other Indian language must be taught based on demand
(e) We can have a composite third language (a mixture of two three other Indian languages
(f) The centre sets up a body to promote Indian languages, sets up libraries, research
institutes, in every town and district, translates international books into all
Indian languages, makes technical information available avaialable to the common man
(especially information which is most needed by him Agriculture etc, gives away prizes
to scholars, provides translation services in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in all Indian
languages so that only people from a few states do not benefit.

Thousands of such other strategies can be thought of.


Anonymous said...

Please read books by respected scholars like Mohanram "Hindi against India" and similar articles
by Ramachandra Guha, a very well known scholar. He said this because India's language policies are highly discriminatory and are against the principles of a democracy. We must beleive in scholars more than we beleive in politicians. The Rajbhasha department must give up its obsolete policies and be prepared for a debate with scholars and internationl experts. Such policies are even opposed to the dynamics of a free market economy and are opposed to Human nature. That is why Hindi disappeared as a written language outside the Hindi belt. That is why Bhojpuri movies have recently outstripped Hindi movies. Such optionns are not even workable according to the Indian constitution and would keep on producing counter-reactions. A brilliant option would be to make both SANSKRIT and URDU UN languages in parallel, since Hindi is a blatant sign of discrimination based on language, SANSKRIT and URDU would symbolize that India does not discriminate based on both language and religion.


Mugunth Kumar said...

Great article...
Especially the comments by anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I have a doubt? Why should we give importance to SANSKRIT/URDU. How do thesediffer from HINDI.

SANSKRIT is already dead and only very few ppl speak this language. This count is even very less than HINDI.

First we should understand that there is difference between North and South India starting from the civilization. North Indian Civilization, so-called Aryan Civilization language is SANSKRIT and from which the N.Indian lanugaes derived. But South Indian Civilization, so-called Dravidian has its own language from which all the four languages in S.India developed. So there is no point in bringing in the dead language SANSKRIT and I dont know how URDU is related to Indian Civilizations.

So, there is no point in replaing HINDI with yet another dead language SANSKRIT.

AC said...

Thanks for such BLOG
nice to know that many people are aware of hindians biased language time has come not to discuss further but to take some action against this mentality of north indians.why cant we have an organisation fighting for our rights?
Organisation of non hindi speakers.

Om said...

There is a community in Orkut:

This a petition against India's biased language policy:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ashish said...

Hi guys,

I was just going through a website and came across an article where a Pakistani was bashing some indians for not having a National Language...

I know we don have one and too some extent I agree with you that we should have one but I don think that just because we have a national language does not mean that we can be identified, the way I see it is that we are Indians and we should be recognized for what we do and not we talk in.

BTW I am a north indian (Punjabi) and I am working in USA and I guess I have friends from all over India, Kerala, TN, Karnataka, AP to name a few South Indian states and trust me on this...we have had similar discussions but we joined hands to make a charitable org and helping India to progress....and we North Indians don hate u guys as much as it is publicized similarly how most of the humanity does not hate each other as much it is broadcasted in BBC and CNN.

BLUESPACE அறிவுமணி, ஜெர்மனி said...

//I wholly agree with your analysis. For a Tamilian, with our rich culture and heritage, we don't need Hindi to be foisted on us.

We have to stand by our language, which defines us as Tamils.//
FINE, ..