Should English continue to be the official language of India?
Language is a medium used to communicate with others. We human beings need language to express our feelings, thoughts, and ideas. The ability to communicate through written or spoken language separates mankind from the animals. But even if we humans use language to communicate, it has become very difficult to understand each other due to use of different languages.
India is a country of diversified culture and languages. The census of 2001 stated that there are 1365 rationalized mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 122 major languages. Of these, 29 languages have more than a million native speakers, 60 have more than 100,000 and 122 have more than 10,000 native speakers. This makes language one of the main political issues in India.
Hindi was declared to be the official language of India after the Independence. But recently, when PM Modi used Hindi for its diplomatic talks, it surged agitation in non-Hindi states. Priority to Hindi calls for differences among the people who don’t speak Hindi.
Language remains a topic of conflict among the citizens of India. But with liberalization and globalization, India developed trade relations with many countries and the economy of India to an extent depends on these trades. It is very important for Indians to be able to communicate with other countries effectively. This can be done through a common language used among most of the countries, which is English. Indian constitution has declared that English can also be used for official purposes. In 2015, there were 57 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities where English was an official language. Knowing how to communicate in English has indeed become a part of literacy all over the world.
Now the question arises, should Hindi be India’s Official Language or English? English is a language which is globally used and accepted. There has been debate over accepting English as an official language and many votes against it. There has been agitation over this matter and has been said that by accepting English, disrespect would be shown to our National Language. But accepting a foreign language along with National language for the benefit of the country doesn’t show any disrespect to our country. Instead it shows the acceptance and unity in diversity of the people of India. It signifies that we Indians not only preserve our heritage and culture through Hindi, but we also move ahead with the world and accept all the changes. Not only will it add to the greatness of the country but will also help in dealing and communicating with other countries with respect and pride.
Thus to conclude, in my opinion, India should have Hindi as its Official Language as it’s necessary to preserve the Indian culture, heritage and history. But given the change and accelerated environment of trade and interaction with foreign countries, English should be made second official language in India. And since India is a democratic country, every individual has the right to choose and speak the language they want to.