Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hindi - Official Language, What is National Language ?

The most common mistake or misunderstanding among Indians regarding National Language is most of us believe or think for some reason that Hindi is the National Language of India. 

The true fact is India as a country does not have any National Language in general or on record. Hindi is just the most commonly spoken language in India, but there have been lot of instances I have heard right from college students to lecturer to software engineer or an NRI telling someone "Hindi is our National Language". 

In 2010, Gujarat High court has made this very clear, to quote some lines from the court order  “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.”

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.”

Later, 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.

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