We all live in a world where language is an essential tool to communicate our feelings, expressions and our thoughts, but it became a questionable thing when ‘National’ word is prefixed with it especially in a country like ours which do not fit into the European definition of nation as in “one race, one language, and one religion”. Sure enough, we tend to celebrate unity in diversity.
So let me ask people who live by this code “unity in diversity”, what is India’s National Language?
If you think ‘Hindi’ is, I bet you’ll change your mind once you’ll finish reading this.
So here it goes, WE DO NOT HAVE A NATIONAL LANGUAGE as such. Yes, Hindi is largely spoken in our country but that does not give it a status of a national language, there are 21 more languages that are identified as official languages, little less famous than Hindi(special thanks to our Bollywood supremacy) but spoken by millions of people. And here we need to see that thin line between “national language” and “official language”, India has still not been able to materialize its dream of arriving at a single language which could identify with the whole nation and one which is acceptable to each citizen. Dreaming of India as a Monolingual country can be problematic in terms of opportunities. Imagine if all the speakers are made to learn to say ‘Kannada ‘ which is declared as the national language and you have to read, write and speak in it, we all can imagine how difficult it could get for us in terms of employment opportunities, education, and public services because of our non-Kannada background. Thus it is not something to be forced!
And fortunately, our constitutional makers did not force a single language for the country. It is no wonder in saying that speaking about Hindi is no different from speaking about ‘Hinduism’ as India’s hidden official cultural expression! Therefore, language raises a question of’ integration’ in our country where communal riots and debates on secularism/communalism flooded throughout the country every year that demands supremacy of their culture, religion, and most importantly language. For RSS, English is an alien language and incidentally Urdu too! Meanwhile the other party claim to call their language as most spoken historically with dominance all over the continent during that particular era. Lately, English left its footprints after ruling India for nearly 2 centuries, making it be medium of instruction and teaching in many higher education institutions now.
Therefore, we need a national consensus on recognizing hypocrisy and instead of making it an issue, we should remember that there are thousands who are still illiterate Thus, the prime focus shall be on getting these people on the board of literacy so that we can communicate to them in some language, any language, educating them and make knowledge available to them in any language. After all the goal is to communicate, every language is equally good and if we care about this a lot, we really do not need a single national language to be reckoned, only then we all can be proud of so many different cultures, languages, and traditions when we trumpet ‘unity in diversity’.