Language for cooperative federalism to be established

  • Given that India is a country with many languages and ethnicities in a single State, the recent announcement regarding the adoption of Hindi and local languages as a medium of Instruction in Educational Institutions is still up for debate.
  • The article discusses the linguistic problems with our federal system.

Need for a single Official language

  • To uphold cooperative federalism throughout the nation.
  • To facilitate communication between departments.
  • To improve ties between the Center and States.
  • To uphold law and order.

Key Problem

  • The Constitution-makers pondered the issue of how to express national identity in a linguistically diverse community and even connected it to national status. Language is a fundamental component of identity.
  • Hindi was suggested as the language of instruction and examination in technical courses in the official language committee’s 11th volume, which sparked a discussion about its implications and viability in terms of the accessibility of course materials and the availability of teachers qualified to convey it effectively.
  • The proficiency of candidates taking Hindi language exams and competing on an equal footing with those for whom it is their mother tongue is another concern.

The national language issue

  • Linguistic chauvinism is the practise of asserting one language’s dominance over others.
  • Overconfidence in one’s native tongue fosters hostility and division.
  • Imposing Hindi raises a number of issues, such as what it would mean for job market competition.
  • The national language is not mentioned in the chapters on official languages, directive principles of state policy, or fundamental duties.
  • The constitutional route would be to utilise Hindi or the language of each Legislature’s choice, as permitted by Article 345, for all official purposes.

Key issues with the recommendations of the 10th report on official language

  • It emphasised a few of its recommendations regarding the examination format and language used in technical courses. Concerns exist regarding its application and viability in terms of the accessibility of common books and course materials. Another major problem is the lack of educators who are capable of explaining it clearly.
  • The proficiency of candidates taking Hindi language tests and competing on an equal footing with those for whom it is their mother tongue is a related issue.
  • There is concern that forcing Hindi on students whose mother tongue is not Hindi would harm them. It has obvious effects on how competitive the labour market is.
  • The Official Languages chapter is comprehensive and sticks to the Union’s official tongue. No mention of a national tongue is made. The section on Directive Principles of State Policy or Fundamental Duties makes no mention of it.
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