Author: Isha Rathi, Student at Mody University of Science and Technology.
On 14 September 1953, the country celebrated the first Hindi Diwas. Since then, every year we celebrate Hindi Diwas on this day but last year when the minister of Home affairs himself tweeted on Twitter concerning make Hindi the national language of the country, the line of trolls and protests started.
The Anti-Hindi people started trolling the government. The ideology of Mr. Amit Shah seems to be failed in front of them. The consequences of making Hindi the national language of the country are not affordable and will harm people at large. The country is moving forward to celebrate its 74th Independence Day and the notion of adopting a common language to unite people raises a question over the unity of people for 73 years.
A country where people of different religion, caste, cultures resides, a country who obeys the principle of secularism cannot think of adopting a common language for the citizens.
Many people believed that the concept of one nation one language evolves when the Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, tweeted his view of having Hindi as the national language of the country on 14 September 2019 (celebrated as Hindi Diwas) but this is not the truth.
This idea of one nation one language is not an unprecedented concept in our country. Many freedom fighters also believe that Hindi should be the national language of the country; even they fight for it too. In total, there were 22 languages mention by the constituent assembly in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India.
On 14 September 1949, the constituent assembly in India adopted Hindi written Devanagari script along with English as the official language of the country under Article 343(1). After this decision, the anti-Hindi ideology surfaced in the recently independent country. The non-supporters of Hindi misinterpreted this decision of the constituent assembly and thought that government would forcefully impose Hindi on them. Many other people support this anti-Hindi ideology and this leads to the counteractions against the decision. Due to these counteractions, neither Hindi was made the official language of the country nor was English removed from the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
In the year 1965, the central government was planning to have a change over the linguistic policy of India and proceeding towards making Hindi the official language of the nation with a provision that communication with Non-Hindi states can be done in English.
This plan triggered the line of protests in the country, especially in the northern and southern states. The people in northern states were supporting the idea of making Hindi an official language of the country and on the other side; those who were residing in southern states were opposing this idea.
This series of events concluded that there is no national language of our country.
HINDI: NATIONAL LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY?
India is a country that follows the concept of Unity in Diversity. It is not wrong to mention that, here, the taste of food and the language changes every two kilometers. There is beauty in every language. In total there are 121 languages spoken in India but only 22 languages are mentioned in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution.
In India, people of various cultures, religions, castes, etc. are living together for ages. This shows the fervent tolerance and unity of the Indian people. Hence, if a country with the principle of unity in diversity proceeds to adopt a single language for the whole nation it will hurt the sentiments of many.
Article 351 of the Indian Constitution, imposes a duty on the Central government to promote the spread of the Hindi language to make more people familiar with it.
As Hindi is mostly spoken in northern and some parts of western India, it needs to be spread among other parts also. The people of southern and eastern India prefer to speak either English or their regional language.
Article 29 of the Indian Constitution provides every citizen of the country to have a distinct language, script, and culture. Thus, imposing a single language over the population of 1.3 billion will result in series of protests and riots in the country.
As said by the Home Minister, Amit Shah, the ideology behind the imposition of Hindi as the national language is to unite India. But it is evident from the past events that if this happens, instead of uniting the country it will divide it into several parts.
The perception around Hindi as the “national language” was rejected by Gujarat High Court in its order back in 2010. It was held that despite the fact that it is spoken by a significant number of people, there is no proof that Hindi was ever declared the national language of the country.
CONSEQUENCES OF HAVING A NATIONAL LANGUAGE
- Positive Consequences
- Several people in India have to migrate from one state to another in the need of work, shelter, food, etc. It is difficult for them to manage at a new place with a different language. So, if there is a common language for all, this problem will be resolved.
- Hindi will represent India on the international platform; also it will be recognized internationally for various purposes.
- Negative Consequences
- After the implementation of Hindi as the national language, the concept of diverse India will be infringed to a point. Also, it is evident that not everyone is familiar with Hindi, then the time which people will need to learn it will be more and will affect their other work too.
- If Hindi will be the national language of the country then what will be the existence of the other 21 languages?
It will become difficult to justify their usage.
- Article 19(1) provides the ‘Right to freedom of speech’ to every citizen. The imposition of one language will infringe this right as many people will be unable to express their views and emotions in their language.
- To teach everyone the Hindi language, the government will need many people across the country and it will become difficult for them to hire such an amount of people. If the government plans to make people learn Hindi through virtual mode then too it will lead to many problems such as;
- Non-availability of technology at various places.
- People need to spend money on getting internet connections and other resources too.
- It will lead to protests and riots as there are many non-supporters of the Hindi language.
DO WE NEED A NATIONAL LANGUAGE?
In the author’s opinion, India does not need a national or common language. Every language represents a culture; people relate themselves to others by their languages. There is a feeling of affinity in every language. By agreeing to the fact that, Hindi is not the mother tongue of every Indian, the concept of implementation of a common language should be dropped off. There is a different mother tongue to every Indian. Hindi cannot be a Lingua Franca for the whole country. The idea of one nation one language represents the notion of European colonization.
Amit Shah, the minister of Home Affairs, mentioned in his tweet that Hindi is the only option that can unite people. But in the present scenario, ‘Diverse India is the new united India’.
The adaptation of a common language leads to a trail of heinous protests and exclusion of many people in the country. Peaceful protest is a myth nowadays.
Even Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S. Yediyurappa clearly stated that Kannada is the principal language of Karnataka, so it is quite clear the sudden states are not ready to accept the Hindi dominance.
According to the report of 2001, only 41 percent of the population speaks in Hindi and the rest of the population does not. So, it will become quite unfair if a common language will be implemented.
HOW THE IDEA OF ONE LANGUAGE ECONOMICALLY DISASTROUS FOR INDIA?
In India, many places and people lack the resources. If the union wants to implement this idea then they need to plan a lot for this. The proportion of people speaking Hindi is not much bigger than the people who do not speak Hindi. Firstly, the government needs to hire tutors who can teach Hindi to such a large number of people. The Government requires paying them too and if they charge a fee for the teachings then many people cannot afford that as they hardly can afford their food by their earnings.
Also, if central plans to teach them virtually then to the lack of resources will be a problem. Not everyone has internet connections and smart phones, not everyone knows how to use them. It will be a great problem for the people as well as for the government to teach such a large population. The Government needs to allocate the funds for the virtual education program.
In addition to that, 35% population migrates to different parts of the country in search of better livelihood. These people cannot afford the above-mentioned services due to their bad economic condition.
This leads to the expenditure of government funds in high amounts with less income. Thus, this idea of one language proves to be economically disastrous for the nation.
India is a multi-lingual country and people spoke hundreds of languages here. The recognition of Hindi as the national language of the country will be a burden over a large population who does not speak Hindi. The nationalization of the Hindi language will require the consent of every state as well as union territories.
Any step towards the nationalization of the language without the consent of the people will lead to immeasurable damage in the country. This damage will be to the sentiments of the people as well as to the property. This act will also produce hatred towards the government.
A united nation needs to have a space for diversity. India is united in its diversity and is famous worldwide for its multi-cultured image.
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