Is Hindi India’s National Language?

The war between North India and South India is as old as the fight for freedom from British Raj. The fight is about whether Hindi is the national language of India or not? North Indians claim since it is spoken in most of the states of the country, it is the national language while South Indians believe Tamil (The old form of Tamil known as Brahmi letters) is the original language of India since there are inscriptions on the Indus Valley civilisations found in Tamil Nadu with Brahmi letters.

In 1856, Robert Caldwell researched Tamil Brahmi letters and confirmed that Tamil is the mother language of all Dravidian languages.

They don’t consider Hindi as the national language because: a) It is not written in the constitution of India. b) They believe true Indians are Dravidians living in the south while North Indians are Aryans, who hailed from Europe and Asia.

So, coming back to the Hindi language, let’s get our facts constitutionally right:

  • In 1950, the Union of India adopted Hindi as its official language with the use of the Devanagari script as the official language as written in the Constitution of India.
  • Article 343 states that “Hindi in the Devanagari script will be the official language of the Union.” “The international version of Indian numerals will be utilised for official purposes of the Union.” 
  • In 1965, English was to be replaced by Hindi, which had been recognised as an associate language of the Union. 
  • However, in 1963, the Official Language Act was approved, ensuring that English would remain an associate official language in the Union and that it would continue to be used in the legislature indefinitely.
  • According to Article 351, it is the government’s responsibility to support the spread of Hindi as a means of expressing India’s composite culture.
  • Article 348(2) of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Official Languages Act of 1963, allow Hindi-speaking states like Bihar and Rajasthan to utilise Hindi in their high courts.
  • Despite the Tamil Nadu government’s request that the Centre adopt comparable provisions for Tamil, the court dismissed the petition, noting that such a change would have an influence on the transfer and posting of high-court judges throughout India. 

Hindi is the official language of nine Indian states, including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and the union territories of Chandigarh and Delhi.

Fact: Aryans, who are basically today’s North Indians, used to speak Sanskrit. Dravidians on the other hand used to speak Tamil which did not originate from Sanskrit because it is older than Sanskrit and has a 4,500-year-old record of ‘Tamil Sangam.’  

My Views:

Hindi might be a dominant language in the country but we must not forget we are known for our diversity of cultures and languages. The clash of North Indians vs South Indians based on language is really foolish, we should be proud of knowing and speaking in too many tongues. Stop dividing states and their people based on language, religion and political preferences.

Remember, the only official languages of India are Hindi and English.

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