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- On 14th September 2019, which is a Hindi Diwas, the present Union Home minster Amit Shah said that ‘One Nation, One Language‘ is needed to strengthen the unity of the country. He opined that Hindi should be made the national language of India.
- The debate on Hindi as the national language is not new. From the 1960s, there have been attempts to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. And there were widespread protests against the imposition of Hindi.
- In the last few years, several ministers termed Hindi as ‘Rastra Basha’, which means National language.
- In June 2017, the Central government announced that passports would now be in both Hindi and English. The President of India approved several recommendations of Parliamentary committee on official languages. Issuing government circulars in Hindi, making Hindi compulsory in CBSE schools are some among them.
- Till now, there is no National language for India. And there are 2 official languages – English and Hindi.
- In 2019, the Center’s push for the Hindi language through 3-language formula in the New National Education Policy’s draft created controversy.
Yes, Hindi should be the national language of India:
- Hindi is spoken by more than half of India. As no single language is spoken by entire India, it is much better to make the majoritarian language as the national language.
- English is not native to India, but Hindi is.
No, Hindi should not be the national language of India:
- Almost half of India’s mother tongue is not Hindi. There are 22 officially recognized regional languages in India. Making majoritarian language as the national language is unconstitutional.
- English is an international language and is spoken by most of the Indians. So, if Hindi is made as the national language, people who cannot speak Hindi will be at disadvantage in many things such as getting government jobs, understanding circulars etc.
- There are widespread protests against the imposition of Hindi because non-Hindi speaking states are much more comfortable with English than Hindi.
- Several Indian languages already dying because of the increasing usage of English. If Hindi is also made compulsory, the importance of the mother tongue will be reduced further.
- Some people are arguing that English is not born in India and hence we should avoid using it. This statement lacks logic because all the technological innovations we are now using were born in different parts of the world. We cannot reject things just because they are not Indian.
Non-Hindi speaking states at least accepted Hindi as another official language besides English. But attempts to replace English with Hindi and trying to make it as the sole official language will threaten the unity of India. Imposing majoritarian ideals on others is against the fundamental rights of our constitution.
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