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Idea of One Nation One Language in Indian Society

- Priyanka Priyadarshini Nayak

India is a land of many states and we all are multi-linguistic, multi-cultured, and having multi-society.Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with 22 official languages and many more. No doubt language is a powerful tool for every country; it reflects the values, beliefs and customs of a particular state. Language can thus be said to be at the core of humanity.Society is always reflecting through language; every person has its freedom to choose their language and there are many instances where language becomes the only reason of dismantling the whole nation. There is a familiar adage “No man is an Island”. This goes to say that an individual always remain isolated when there is no language to establish and to maintain a relationship between people. Every language has its priority, it’s important to respect and equally accept it. India can’t be described as a field of one language; Is it necessary to have one language to form one nation or to run the nation smoothly?

For truncating the language problem, our nation decided to choose Hindi as the Country’s common language and also thought of making it our National language. 
ARTICLE 343(1) -states that Devanagari script shall be in Hindi language.
ARTICLE 343(2) -this article stated that Hindi shall remained as the official language.
We should always keep in mind that there’s a big difference between official and national language. National language is represented as a national symbol whereas official languages are realistic. 
ARTICLE 351 – stated that it’s the Union’s duty to invigorate extend the use of Hindi language so that it can become the medium of communication. 

After the declaration, some of the non-speaking Hindi states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana stand opposite to the decision. There some pro-Kannada organization, who were opposing and showing their anger against the proposal of ‘One Nation One Language’. And for that they never tried to learn Hindi. Again, one question arose why Hindi was not declared as national language? If it would happen then an unwarranted dominance will evolve in Hindi-speaking parts and will also become a threat to the establishment of other regional languages.India is a multi-lingual country and declaration of one language as national language is never required. The main purpose of adopting one language is to make the nation united, nevertheless it was not a compulsory task to change the polyglot nation.There was a debate going on the idea of one nation one language, where one person quoted that “If it is claimed by passing an article in the Constitution of India one language is going to be accepted by all by a process of coercion, then that will never be possible to achieve.”[1]We always say that our country works on the concept of “Unity in Diversity”, so we should mark it as India’s keynote to achieve it with the process of proper assimilation and acceptance. There’s a famous phrase “United we stand divided we fall” that coveys a clear meaning and whenever it comes to display patriotism towards our nation or for any other motive, each and every state unites who doesn’t even care about different languages. Then lies how the states will communicate? This was an unsolved problem which took place after the proclamation. So,English was also declared as a second official language of India, so that there will be no such discrimination attitude towards non-Hindi speaking states.

The teaching of Hindi was made mandatory in 2019 by NPE (National Policy on Education). It was then opposed by the Tamil Nadu, the reference to Hindi language was subsequently dropped by the committee. The students of Madras or other non-Hindi speaking states felt that it was unfair for them to learn Hindi as well as English, whereas speakers of the favoured states would need only to learn English. After looking out to this problem government decided to introduce Three Language Formula for making education system fair. In this system non-Hindi areas would learn Hindi, English and their regional language, whereas in Hindi speaking areas would be taught Hindi, English and one another language (French, Sanskrit).Many political parties involved in this issue and somewhat made this language politics like DMK-Dravida Munnetra Kazagham has proven this plan as a failure. Indian society thinks that many languages are a drawback. One language will never lead to the development of the nation. Adopting Hindi language should never look like enforcement of Hindi imperialism.Yes, it is important to learn Hindi and English when required like for adopting modern culture, or for job qualification. Standing against a statement, on not having a national language never connotes that you can’t speak Hindi.


India can never be lingua francaas it fades away the diversity of our nation and it degrades the fundamental development.The moment we use terms like unity, unified, etc., we are actually addressing the idea of being ‘one’.The term ‘one nation’ doesn’t measure quantity.Quantity is seen as a preponderance, and our nation cannot run through preponderance and it doesn’t even lead to the quality of oneness. The creation of bigger numbers is a majority which never follows the idea of the ‘one nation’. Even if our country’s 90% of the population speaks Hindi, but it is still not adequate to make ‘one nation’.At the same time, without sharing the same languages it is still achievable to have the quality of oneness. Hindi being decided as an official language leads to promote the use of foreign language by the speakers of non-favoured languages as a medium of communication. Undeniably this situation helped English language to always remain as a part of India.India being multilingual country, it becomes difficult to look our country with one vantage point. As we know a rainbow has seven colours which make it more attractive, like these different languages add flavours to our nation. Every writer is meant to develop the multi-lingual ambience in Indian society. We can’t say that one language can bring national feeling or national unity towards our nation. Our nation can easily run through many languages, and whenever it is needed to learn Hindi, then one person can easily opt for this.Former President Pranab Mukherjee also stated that ‘India is not a place of one language or one religion or one enemy’ he further added that it is ‘Perennial Universalism’. All the citizen from different religion, culture and language lives under one flag, and recognized or given one identity of being Indian or Bhartiya. Tolerance is connatural, with this so many religions survive, so no doubt many languages can also survive; Our nation could never split, as there is general linguistic tolerance.

India is known for its diversity, so how can you expect that only one language is enough to keep our nation united? India is the biggest democratic nation in the entire world, here we all are there to appreciate all languages and their tradition. Having one or multiple languages doesn’t matter at all, if you have the unity on every strenuous situation.India will always remain an idea of many languages one nation. 


[1] V K R V Rao, “Many Languages, One Nation: Quest for an All-India Language” (1978) 13 JSTOR 1025
[2] Sundar Sarukkai, “The meaning of oneness is ‘one nation’” The Hindu (Bangalore, 26 September 2019)  <> accessed 3 April 2020