Friday, August 5, 2011

HINDI - National Language of India ??

Ok.. my first post in English. Letz see how it goes :). It is a topic that I have discussed in length and breath with most of my friends and always had fun discussing it :). Is HINDI a National Language of India or can it be called as a National Language of India or is there really something called National Language ?.

My answer was/is/will be always a BIG 'NO'.

Hindi is not a National Language of India and infact as per constitution there is nothing called as National Language.

Let me try to break myth surrounding this !!

Myth/Argument No #1: We have a National animal, National Game, National Flower, National Anthem why not National Language

Idea of giving "National" tag is to either bring awareness to people or create a sense of identity. For example, Lion was named the National Animal of India after independence. But due to dwindling population of Tigers. Tiger was made national animal of India to create awareness among the people about the Tigers and save it from extinction. National Anthem, Flower was to create a sense of identity. You can't categorize "Language" under both the categories. Hindi cannot be used as identity for Indians because it will look as if every Indian to be Indian will have to know Hindi and which is absurd. If a person who is living in remote India (say example in remote Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc) has his own language to communicate with his/her society or people, why does he/she need Hindi??and if Hindi is made as National Language and he/she doesn't know Hindi, he/she will be labeled/harassed as non-Indian. Will it be fair on him/her and do we need that??.

Please see link below in India Government. There is no National Language :)

Also, quoting Tamil Nadu ex-CM Mr. C.N. Annadurai famous Parliamentary speech

"While countering the arguments that Hindi is spoken by most number of people, He replied if that is the case, Rat should be the national animal and crow should be national bird. He cleared his stand by saying. National symbols define the culture of the country. We are not objecting that hindi should not be made the national language of the country. We accept that it represents the culture of section of India, but not the whole. If Hindi is made as the national language, every other major language should be made the national language of India. ".

Myth/Argument No #2: Most People in India know Hindi, so it has to be National Language so that everybody can communicate easily and will help India growthIt is yet another dumb argument. Hindus are majority in India does that make Hindu to be National Religion of India??. Definitely No. This argument is similar to that. Also, out of the 28 states and 7 UTs, 10 States and 3 UTs use Hindi as one of the Official Languages. This still leaves the majority (18 states, 4 UTs) beyond their ambit. India is not a country of single culture/tradition/language. India is known for multi-cultural, multi-faceted people. Picking out a single language from among 22 official languages spoken in India and terming it as National language or wanting it to be termed as National Language is disgrace to other languages spoken and is against the 'UNITY in DIVERSITY' Concept of India. Countries like Singapore (Chinese, Malay and Tamil), Malaysia (Malay and Tamil), Switzerland (Romansh, Italian, French, and English) has more than one official languages and and doesn't have any problem and all are well developed countries. Also, one of the main reasons for the civil war in Sri Lanka is the Sinhala only act 1956 which gives importance to Sinhala at the expense of Tamil. Will that need to happen in India?? why some people are obsessed saying Hindi has to be National Language of India and all should know Hindi??
Myth/Argument No #3: Constitution Says Hindi is National Language

Constitution Says Hindi is official Language not National Language

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

Here is details on the constitution part of it
Article 343: This defines Hindi in devangari script and English to be the "OFFICIAL LANGUAGES" of union govt.

So English and Hindi can be used as communication language between governments and states. It was never mentioned that it will be a National Language.

Even in High Courts and Parliament, a person can speak in any official language it is not must for him to know Hindi. See below for language to be used in courts

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

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.

Myth/Argument No #4: When English needs to be mandatory, Why not Hindi??My answer would be English will be gateway to world whereas Hindi might be helpful if I move of the state. But I intend to stay in my state there is no use of me learning Hindi. English has been medium of education for science related information or knowledge right from days of British's rule. So it makes sense for me to 'compulsorily' learn the English which will help understand the technology surrounding and will be useful in doing professional courses as English is only source of medium in India for professional courses. And as all of us know, backbone of India IT market is our English skills and we don't want to break that by demeaning English.
I hope I had broken all the myths surrounding HINDI being a National Language. When I argue like this, people think that am against Hindi, I hate Hindi, am not patriotic. The fact is am against 'mandatory' imposion of Hindi in a state which doesn't require Hindi. I don't mind people learning if needed. For example, if I had to settle in U.P or M.P which is Hindi-dominant area, I need to know Hindi and I will have to learn it to survive there. I will learn Hindi then. But not in T.N where Tamil is more than enough. Everybody needs to be given freedom to learn the language based on their needs.

Finally I will submit my case of how HINDI IS NOT THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE quoting Gujarat High Court order

"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."

Every Language/Religion/Community in India is equally important irrespective of the amount of people within the community. Everything has it is own uniqueness, beauty. Tagging any one of them as 'NATIONAL' is an insult/disgrace to the others. In my opinion, Imposing all to learn one language, imposing all to follow one religion, imposing all to follow one culture is same. Lets us not support people who are trying to do that. Lets respect India the way it has been always "DIVERSIFIED, YET UNIFIED" !!


  1. என்னைப்போல தமிழ் வாசகர்களுக்காக தயவு செய்து மொழிபெயர்க்கவும்! :o)

  2. ha ha.. plz use google translate :)

  3. Before putting comments about the subject... rock...article wise... well designed...nice flow... get ready for the fight :)

  4. You may or maynot be true about National language splitting court stuff and all...But...without knowing you will follow our National anthem (or no national anthem too !!!)

  5. Haa.. as i said in my last para, people may think am non-patriotic, which is sad.
    But for your information.. National Anthem was written in bengali not in Hindi as you believe it to be. Even it was written in Hindi it doesn't qualify to be national language just on the basis of it being language for national anthem.
    'Jana Gana Mana (Bengali: জন গণ মন, Jôno Gôno Mono) is the national anthem of India. Written in highly Sanskritized (Tatsama) Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911"

  6. Article wise, nice flow Srini...But on the content wise, any language be it national or not, if it helps in communication thats more than enough for me. Not sure about you, but there are people who don't try to learn Hindi because its said to be National language. I don't like that. On the other had those who love hindi need not look down upon other languages. Each language is unique and wealthy in its own way. Learn as many languages as you can and time will say when that will be useful :-), same as learning anything.

  7. Thanks Grace. Neeinga sollaruthu i agree 100%.. my point is learning a language should be left to individuals. Imposition of any language is what i don't agree. Saying Hindi as National Language implies that all should learn Hindi (which is imposition) which i don't agree/support. All the languages in India has its own beauty and uniqueness. So terming one language is "National" is not fair. Again, am not against learning Hindi or any language. My only point it should be a person's decision not some government's decision :)


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