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English as the ONLY Official language of India

India is a multilingual nation with a wide variety of colors and cultures. It holds the fourth position in the world when it comes to the number of languages practiced in the state (447 languages).

The key purpose of any language is communication. It also helps in the preservation of ones’ culture and tradition. In India, people associate it with their pride which I feel, is not a healthy practice and can lead to civil disturbance.

As per the Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. Making only one language as the official language will not satisfy the whole population. So, the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, as of 1 December 2007, lists 22 languages as the official regional language of India. In addition, the govt. has awarded the distinction of classical language to Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu for their rich heritage and independent nature.

Article 343 of the Indian Constitution stated that the official language of the Union is Hindi in the Devanagari script, with the official use of English to continue for 15 years from 1947 so that people of India can learn a common Indian language for easy communication. Although, Hindi is not the national language of India; the Constitution of India does not give any language the status of the national language. But Hindi was not chosen because it was the language of the majority but because of it being a lingua franca (a shared language of communication used by people who are speakers of different languages).

Even Hindi-speaking people have their mother tongue but since childhood, they have been taught in English along with their native language. So, saying that Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of Union is to dominate the people from other languages would be just agitating and disturbing the secularism of India.

Just like any other country, India is also known with the language highly known and understood by a large fraction of the Indian population. There are countries like Germany, China, France, etc which are global powers without adopting English as their official language.

Only 20% of the Indians knew English when it was implemented after imperialism. BUT as it was easier, it was adopted worldwide for trade and other global affairs. It was brought into education and business and made the language of Science and Technology.

Knowledge of English is very important to connect with the rest of the world. It opens access to global opportunities and helps to understand the culture of the world. But these days, Google translator has made it easier to translate any language into English.

In my opinion, making a non-Indian language, i.e. English as the official language of India will not lead to social dissatisfaction at a surface level, but it will leave 40-50 percent of the Indian population dependent on the people who know English. 

I strongly believe that the views presented are sufficient for not choosing English as the ONLY official language of India. BUT its use must be continued to make communication and learning easier.

Author: Deeksha Verma (linkedin.com/in/deeksha-verma-93ab51219)

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