Is Hindi or English beneficial as the link language?

News: Recently, the Union Home minister said that the citizens of States should communicate with each other in the “language of India”. They should choose Hindi as an alternative to English. This has sparked criticism from the opposition and various sections of Indian society. 

What are the arguments against use of Hindi as a communication language across Indian states? 

According to Census 2011, Hindi was reported as the first choice of language for communication by residents of only 12 of the 35 States and Union Territories (UTs) 

Hindi is not spoken by the majority.

43% of Indians who speak “Hindi languages” include 56 languages like Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Hindi and Chhattisgarhi. Out of this, only 26% speak Hindi specifically as their mother tongue.  

There is a positive correlation between a higher standard of living and a higher share of English speakers. For example, the States/UTs having a higher share of English speakers have higher HDI scores in comparison to States having a higher share of Hindi speakers 

The Hindi-speaking States have been witnessing net out-migration. It means more people have been migrating towards the non-Hindi speaking states (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi) in search of better livelihoods. This has been validated by an analysis of railways passenger data referred to the 2017 Economic Survey and the 2011 Census data 

Source: The post is based on an article “Is Hindi or English beneficial as the link language?” published in The Hindu on 15th Apr 22. 

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