Monday, January 25, 2010

No national language in India: Gujarat High Court

AHMEDABAD: Does India have a national language? No, says the Gujarat High Court.

With this observation, a bench headed by Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya refused to issue directions that packaged commodities must contain details about goods in Hindi.

Petitioner Suresh Kachhadia had, in 2009, filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat HC seeking mandamus to the Centre as well as the state government to make it mandatory for manufacturers of goods to print in Hindi, all details of goods like price, ingredients and the date of manufacture. His contention was that the consumers are entitled to know what they are consuming.

It was argued that because Hindi is the national language and is understood by a large number of people in the country, directions should be given to publish all such details in Hindi. His counsel placed reliance on the deliberations in the Constituent Assembly in his arguments. Even the Centre's counsel referred to the Standard of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules and told the court that such declaration on packets should be either in English or in Hindi in Devanagari script.

But the court asked whether there was any notification saying Hindi is India's national language, for it's an ``official language'' of this country. No notification ever issued by the government could be produced before the court in this regard. This is because the Constitution has given Hindi the status of the official language and not the national language.

The court concluded that the rules have specific provisions for manufacturers that particulars of declaration should be in Hindi in Devanagari script or in English, and it's their prerogative to use English. Therefore, no mandamus can be issued on manufacturers or governments for giving details or particulars of package in Hindi.


4 comments:

hunt_goodtime said...

My sincere thanks to the Gujarat HC, for having taken a judicial stance on the issue. The article also points to a danger in anointing any national language. With it comes certain judicial rights and the central government will arrogate a lot of rights, trampling other linguistic minorities. Let us be vigilant. A knee jerk reaction could be a constitutional amendment by the BIMARU region MPs... We should ensure that it is defeated, the equal official language status for all languages is preserved...

S.Alangulam said...

This blog is very good.

kp747 said...

Dear Vetri-Vel. Your effort and research should be utilized by Tamils in big way. Hats of to you. Why don't we take effort to publish this as a book. Please consider doing it. Please don't go silent. Leave a mark as our great grand fathers just for the sake of our people and language! Long live Thamil!

kp747 said...

Dear Vetri-Vel. Your effort and research should be utilized by Tamils in big way. Why don't we take all efforts to publish this as a book. This will be one of the very accurate historical record for our people. Please consider doing it. Please don't go silent, your thoughts and efforts and very much required for our people at this time in our history. Leave a mark as our great grand fathers just for the sake of our people and language! Long live Thamil!