In June 2019, the Government of India introduced a Draft Education Policy that promoted a three language theory for school children. The proposal consisted of making Hindi mandatory for all school children across the country. The proposal faced strong opposition from the states of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, because of which, the proposal was not carried ahead in the New Education Policy 2020.
September 14th is celebrated as ‘Hindi Diwas’ in India since 1953 to celebrate the popularity of Hindi as an official language of the country. On Hindi Diwas 2019, Honourable Home Minister, Amit Shah, took to twitter and said, that the country should come together to promote Hindi. However, he added that this should not happen at the cost of other languages.
Home Minister tweeted in Hindi, “India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance. But it is very important to have a language of the whole country, which should become the identity of India at a global level.” He added that today, Hindi is one language that can do the work of uniting the country, for it is the most spoken language of the country.
Hindi as an Official Language of the United Nations
United Nations has six official languages so far. India has been lobbying since 2007, to include Hindi in the list of official languages of the UN, considering the fact that it is the only language that is common to a majority in the country. In addition to this, Hindi is also an official language of Fiji – an island country in Oceania. The language is also spoken in countries such as Suriname, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
While Hindi is not yet an official language in the UN, but UN has officially recognized Hindi as an important language by starting a weekly news bulletin in Hindi.
Economic Feasibility of Adopting Hindi as a National Language
According to census 2001, 41 per cent of Indian population are native speakers of Hindi dialect. In addition to this, there is a chunk of population that has Hindi as their second language. No other language in the country has this wide a user base.
English on the other hand is gaining status as an official language which is only spoken by only 10 per cent of the population of the country. Promoting this as an official language has much more economic costs than Hindi. For a country like India, where there is rampant poverty and hunger, every rupee counts, and it would make a lot of sense economically to promote Hindi as an official language across the country than English.