India’s Quest for a National Language!

    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. 
   Though majority of the people speak hindi, an even more majority want their children to speak in English. Everyone from a politician to bus driver, want their children to speak in English. This truth has been well established though the politicians are shy to accept this.
   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. 
  For anything to be called national, it should have done something to inspire the aspiration of the people and also aid that aspiration. English has done it perfectly. In the words of Kamaraj, the then TN CM, who spoke out against hindi in 1950s, ‘If majority is the criteria, crow not peacock which should be the national bird’. The next decade will be India’s litmus test for role of Indians in global affairs, from making a pitch to security council and surpassing china’s economy. We can always preserve and grow our classical languages without hurting English, which will play a key role in India’s growth.
   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. 
   Anti Hindi in TamilNadu: 
Dominance of Hindi can be seen in many areas, especially, in Rupee note, Govt. Job application forms, College admission forms, school books in which most of the leaders who fought for independence will be either from north or west or east & not many from south / especially tamil nadu. How many school students in India knows about leaders who fought for freedom from South India? What is the need for such dominance? Moreover, South Indian scripts are completely different than Devangiri scripts, so why students are forced to adapt new things?

The only question is "Do we really need a national language?"

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