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Essay on “Official Language of India” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Official Language of India

 

One of the main political issues in Indian politics is connected to language problem. After India’s independence the government decided that the official language of India would be Hindi. Hindi has at least 13 different dialects and she is the most commonly spoken language in India. But the reason Hindi was chosen to be the official language of India wasn’t because it is the most commonly spoken language in India, but it has connection with India’s history before its independence.

Before its independence, most of India was a British colony. Before the British the most dominant Empire of north India was the Mughal Empire. The Mughals were Muslim invaders who arrived in India from the present day Afghanistan. The official language of the Mughal courts was Persian. The Mughals, like other residents who lived to the west of the Indian sub-continent named India as ‘Hind’ or ‘Hindustan’, after the river Indus which flows in the present day Pakistan. Most of the sacred books of Hinduism are written in Sanskrit and the script is called Devanagiri.

After the collapse of the Mughals the British became the rulers of north India. The British introduced English to India and continued using Urdu for official purposes. But, nationalist Hindus demanded from the British to change the official language from Urdu to Hindi, which is written in Indian script. Even Hindus whose mother tongue was not Hindi supported this argument. This debate between the Hindus and the Muslims continued right up to the independence of India. Against this stand of two different languages two of India’s notable leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, supported the idea of one Hindustani language, which could be written in both forms. But when British India was divided in two countries, India and Pakistan. Muslims who got Pakistan made Urdu their official language and Indians made Hindi with Devanagiri script as their official language. But the debate over the official language didn’t end up with choosing Hindi with Devanagiri script as the official language. New debates occurred because of this decision.

One problem was connected to the different dialects of Hindiand the second problem was connected to other languages, which exist in India. The first problem was which dialect of Hindi is the right Hindi. Hindi has at least 13 dialects, some of them completely different from each other. Two reasons caused to it that Hindi language includes in it so many different dialects. One reason was related to the fact that India is called Hind in many languages spoken west from it up to the Middle-East.

Before the independence of India the Muslims supported the continuation of Urdu as the official language of India, while the Hindus supported Hindi. In order to secure Hindi’s position as the sole official language of India the political leaders convinced the north Indians to claim that they speak a Hindi dialect and so different dialect speakers were put together in the Hindi-speaking category by the British bureaucrats. After India’s independence when Hindi was chosen as the official language of India, different ‘Hindi’ language speakers began demanding official recognition of their languages. Maithali and Punjabi speakers also demanded to recognize their languages as separate languages from Hindi. Among the other language speakers of India, the decision to choose Hindi as the official language was seen as an attempt to erase their cultures. After different struggles—political, violent and passive —the central government decided to allow the state governments to pick their official languages and recognized constitutionally other languages of India. For now the Indian constitution recognizes 18 Indian languages. One of meanings of the constitutional recognition is the right to use any of these languages for government service examinations. But, in reality this possibility isn’t always given to the examinee.

The different states of India have different official languages, some of them not recognized by the central government. Some states have more then one official language. Bihar in east India has three official languages—Hindi and Urdu—which are all recognized by the central government. But Sikkim, also in east India, has four official languages of which only Nepali is recognized by the central government. Besides the languages officially recognized by central or state governments, there are other languages which don’t have this recognition and their speakers are running political struggles to get this recognition. Anyway as stated earlier the central government decided that Hindi is the official language of India and therefore it has also the status of official language in the states. Another language that has an official status in all states is English.

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