Hindi, not a national language: india
a real foot print of fact
A popular misconception among Indians is that Hindi is our National Language. In reality, it is as absurd as saying Hinduism is our National Religion. The fact is that, Hindi is not our National Language; we do not have a National Language or a National Religion. Neither our constitution nor our law recognizes the existence of a National Language. So, from where the idea of Hindi being our National Language came is not clear.
India is a country with so many different languages and it is impossible to impose one among these as the national language. It is a very controversial issue and has been so for many years. Article 343 of our constitution dictates that "the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script," it also puts forth English as the other official language. The status of being the official language will not automatically make a language the national language. The law and the constitution have to give this recognition, which in Hindi's case has not happened. This was made clear in a ruling by a bench headed by Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya in the Gujarat High Court in January 2010 in a hearing regarding issuing of directions that packaged commodities must contain details about goods in Hindi.
The fact stands that Hindi remains to be the most spoken language in the country. It is this potential of Hindi helped it gain the status of Official Language of the Parliament, along with English. The States are given power to select one of its widely spoken languages or Hindi as the official language, along with English. Furthermore, there are a very vast number of people who speak other regional languages that has no resemblance with Hindi. Many of these regional language speakers are so emotionally involved to their mother tongue, they would most certainly protest against any other language being made into a National Language. In fact this has been happening for so long now. Any attempt to make any one of the inborn language of India as its National Language is, for sure, going to cause unrest among a major set of the population.
There is a long lasting battle going on every now and then regarding this issue between the Hindi speakers and other language speakers, especially so in Tamil Nadu. This battle started even before independence, as early as the 1930s. The first agitation was between 1937 and 1940 in Tamil Nadu, after that the second one was between 45 and 50, in 65, in 68, in 86; this has always been an ongoing process. It emerged every now and then sparking a lot of controversy and unleashing a lot of hatred. There has not been any major attempt to set a National Language in so many years and so this battle is in a hibernation state for that duration and any attempt to revive the National Language campaign will definitely unleash it again.
India bridgeAfter the Independence of India from Britain in 1947, the Government of India undertook the standardization of the language. In 1958, "A Basic Grammar of Modern Hindi" was published as a result of the work of a govenment-appointed committee. In addition, Hindi spelling was standardized, and a standardized system of transcribing the alphabet was devised. India bridgeAfter the Independence of India from Britain in 1947, the Government of India undertook the standardization of the language. In 1958, "A Basic Grammar of Modern Hindi" was published as a result of the work of a govenment-appointed committee. In addition, Hindi spelling was standardized, and a standardized system of transcribing the alphabet was devised.Hindi has been declared in the Constitution of India, as the official language of the Union of India. It is also one of the23 languages recognised under the Official Languages Act 1962.Hindi got the position as stated above, when the presiding officer of the Constituent Assembly, Dr.Rajendra Prasad, gave his casting vote in its favour, when the house was exactly evenly divided even during the third and final reading of the draft provision. Thus one person's vote became the deciding factor.Hindi, as we know today, is just less than 200 years old, notwithstanding the tall claims in books on 'sahitya kaitihas' and 'bhasha vigyan', prescribed as text books and authored by zealots. It is nothing but a dialect spoken around Delhi-Meerut area, with a mixture of Lakhnavi and Hyderabadi Urdu, with liberal usage of Sanskrit words. The so-called 'Shuddh Hindi' is nothing but a style with maximum Sanskrit words, as they are, (=tatsam).Hindi has gobbled up Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi, malawi, Rajasthani(with multiple dialects), Angika, Bundelkhandi and Braj bhasha, which zealots audaciously describe as 'vibhasha'/'boli' (=dialect).Hindi has naturally developed as a link language as pan-regional travel, tours, trade, commerce, services, and employment needs have expanded vastly, with transport and communication having phenomenal growth. Despite resentment in Tamilnadu,and pockets of other Southern states, West Bengal and recently in Maharashtra, Hindi serves as an effective medium of communication amongst people of different regions. One day it may be considered as national language, because of popular acceptance of its utilitarian value but not due to official patronage and incessant overt and covert methods of imposition by State machinery.
Hindi became the official language of India on January 26, 1965, although the Constitution of India recognizes English and 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu , Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit.
Gujarat High Court has observed that though majority of people in India have accepted Hindi as a national language, there was nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.
The observation was made by division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and justice A.S. Dave recently while rejecting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by one Suresh Kachhadia.
Mr. Kachhadia had filed the PIL last year seeking direction to Central and State government to make it mandatory for manufacturers to print details of goods like price, ingredients and date of manufacture in Hindi.
The court observed, “Normally, in India, majority of the people have accepted Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.”
“No mandamus can be issued on any manufacturer or others for giving details or particulars of package in Hindi in Devanagari script,” it further said.
It was contended by Mr. Kachhadia’s lawyer that Hindi was the national language and was understood by a large number of persons in the country.
The Counsel representing central government submitted that specific provision has been made under the Standard of Weight and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules of 1977 that particulars of declaration should be in Hindi in Devanagari script or in English.
The court said that the Constituent Assembly while discussing the Language Formula noticed the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights, which recommended the formula as per which, “Hindustani, written either in Devanagari or the Persian script at the option of the citizen, shall, as the national language, be the first official language of the Union. English shall be the second official language for such period as the Union may, by law, determine.”
However, in the constitution, Hindi was declared as an official language and not a national language.
The court in its order said Part XVII of the Constitution deals with Official Language. Under Article 343, official language of the Union has been prescribed, which includes Hindi in Devanagari script and English.