[Answered] The debate around making Hindi a common language of the country has been on for a long time. Discuss the significance and challenges associated with this formula.

Introduction: contextual introduction

Body: Write down the significance of using Hindi as a common language. Write some points on challenges associated with making Hindi a common language.

Conclusion: way forward

As per the Constitution, India has 22 languages. Language as a potential ground for identity, power, unity and integrity has been the subject of debate among different political parties and linguistic groups in India for a considerable period of time. According to Census 2011, Hindi is the language of less than 44 per cent Indians.

Significance:

  • Constitutional stand – The Indian Constitution states that Article 343 mentions that official language of the union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
  • Widely spoken: Though India has 22 languages, Hindi is the most widely spoken amongst all. Hindi is the 5th most widely spoken language in the world.
  • Hindustan: India was previously known as “Hindustan”. The word itself implies that India is the land of Hindi speaking people. Hence, it should be the official language of the nation.
  • Identity: Even before independence, Hindi was considered to be the official language. Today, English is a global language but it does not mean that we should adopt it. We should try to promote our own identity.
  • Rural India: Around 75% of the country resides in villages where people are aware of Hindi mostly. It would be tough for these people to accept English as their official language.

Challenges:

  • The Constitution envisages India as a Union of States working within a federal framework. Further, in India, most of the States have been formed on a linguistic basis.
  • Linguistic Divide: South India is home to Dravidian states. These states are not really willing to readily accept Hindi as an official language.
  • Create contentions: The government’s move to make Hindi a common language might provide Hindi speakers with an economic, academic and administrative edge.
  • Reduced diversity: It can also endanger other languages and dialects and reduce diversity. It would lead to Hindi chauvinism and is against linguistic diversity of the nation.
  • Each language has vocabulary, gender rules and locutions that do not come instinctively to everyone. When the government uses Hindi as a common language, it will not be easy to understand the government’s policies, decisions and position to non-Hindi speakers.

Looking at this scenario, the government must act diplomatically and take measures for the quality implementation of the ideas and make them easily accessible to the people. For example, people in non-Hindi-speaking regions have started using Hindi as a result of Bollywood movies, instead of imposition.

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