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Language of Power or Language of People

1. Hindi was suggested to be the lingua franca of India to unite the nation and give an identity globally.

2. The initial draft National Education Policy, 2019, also made Hindi mandatory, which was feared as promotion of the idea “one nation, one language.”

Which facts are ignored in this idea?

1. The guiding principle for the organization of states was primarily linguistic, which made it a multilingual federation.

2. The idea is against the making of Indian nationality that transcends the linguistic and regional differences.

3. It aims to achieve unity by uniformity, instead of unity in diversity on which India is built.

4. It has the potential to create a situation of friction, conflict, and division.

When can a language survive?

1. Language has deep connections with the work and life practices of those who use and shape it constantly.

2. The People’s Linguistic Survey of India 2010 identified around 780 living languages.

3. Around 220 languages had died off in the preceding five decades due to unprecedented migration and displacements.

4. So, language lives and thrives, if the people thrive, i.e., if they have livelihood opportunities in their regions.

Why a single language should not be imposed?

1. Language in itself is a democratic system that is “internally plural”.

2. Assertion of a single dominating linguistic identity in multilingual cities and the supremacy of one language in state policies and politics can breed resentment.

3. It will hinder the natural exchange and mutual learning between linguistic cultures.

4. There are objections raised by the southern states about their languages being richer and older.

5. Imposing Hindi also negatively affects the “sister” languages like Urdu and other dialects.

What is the way to resolve language-related issues?

1. Co-existence is the key to resolve any language-related issues.

2. There should be efforts for the organic growth of Hindi instead of its imposition.

3. There should be an easy relationship with one’s native language and a mutual relationship of give and take between different regional languages.

4. The growth of a language needs to be ensured by feelings of cultural mutuality and exchange, and not by the declaration of divisive supremacy.

5. There is a need to acknowledge and celebrate India’s immense linguistic heterogeneity.

6. It is also necessary to register the loss of many languages.

7. There should be attempts to enrich a language’s literature in a way that generates awakening for people across socioeconomic divisions.