Need For An Official Language

Need For An Official Language:-
Official Language

Languages offered a special problem to the makers of the Constitution simply because of the plurality of languages used by the vast population. As now we are more than 1.3 billion in population. It is something amazing to think that no less than  1650 languages, including about 60 non-Indian languages, are currently in use in Indian subcontinent.

The makers of the Constitution had, therefore, to select some of these languages as the recognized medium of official communication in order to save the country from a hopeless confusion. Fortunately for them, the number of people speaking each of these 1650 languages  was not anything like proportionate and some languages (included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution) could easily be picked up as the major languages of India, used by 91% of the total population of the country, and out of them, Hindi, including its kindred variants Urdu and Hindustani, could claim 46 percent. Hindi Devanagari script was accordingly prescribed as the official language of the Union (subject to the continuance of English  for the same purpose for the limited period of 15 years), and, for the development of the Hindi language as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India, the assimilation of the expressions used in the other languages specified in the Eighth Schedule was recommended (Article 351 of Indian Constitution).

But though one language was thus prescribed for the official purposes of the Union, and the makers of the Constitution sought to  afford relief to regional linguistic groups by the allowing the respective State Legislature (Article 345) and the President (Article 347) to recognise some language or languages other than Hindi as the languages other than Hindi as the languages for intra-State official transactions or any of them. These provisions thus  recognise the right of the majority of the State Legislature or a substantial section of the population of a State to have the language spoken by them to be recognised for official purposes within the State.

In the result, the provisions of the Constitution relating to Official Language have come to be somewhat complicated (Article 343 to 351 of Indian Constitution).


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