The Debate on 'One Nation, One Language'
The debate on ‘one nation, one language’ stems from the idea that India is a nation-state, however, a reality check illustrates the fact that due to the existing political scenario of the world at large, India, although it may be branded as a nation-state as of today, did not start as one, neither during the pre-independence era nor in the post-independence era. The re-cent issues are cropping in and around the language debate in the country, wherein Hindi is ‘being promoted’, basically being a euphemistic expression of ‘being forced’. Imposition of a particular language on the entire geographical stretch of India would result in a new form of imperialism. Meaning thereby, promoting Hindi in the name of national integration and naming it as an ‘official language’ is the first step towards declaring it to be the ‘national lan-guage’. Since India inhabits people of varied linguistic backgrounds having separate dialects and scripts, such action on the part of the government is nothing less than being arbitrary.
Cite as: Gupta, JLL 11 (2022), 1-17, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2022.001.
one language, one nation, official language, national language, imperialism, multilingualism
- Abeyagoonasekera, Asanga (2019). Sri Lanka at Crossroads: Geopolitical Challenges and National Interests. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
- Anderson, Benedict R. O’Gorman (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Na-tionalism. London, New York: Verso.
- Annamalai, Elayaperumal (1989). The Linguistic and Social Dimensions of Purism. In Jernudd & Shapiro (Eds.), The Politics of Language Purism (pp. 225–232). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Anonymous (June 20, 2014). Tamil Nadu Parties, Including BJP Allies, Oppose Hindi. Business Standard. Available at: business-standard.com/article/news-ians/tamil-nadu-parties-including-bjp-allies-oppose-hindi-114062000795_1.html (accessed 10 July 2021).
- Anonymous (June 27, 2019a). National Language Debate: What Does It Mean for Indian Pluralism? EPW Engage. Available at: epw.in/engage/article/national-language-debate-what-does-it-mean-indian (accessed 30 July 2021).
- Anonymous (September 14, 2019b). Every Child Will Be Taught Hindi in North East: Amit Shah Reig-nites One Nation, One Language Debate. News18. Available at: news18.com/news/politics/on-hindi-diwas-amit-shah-bats-for-one-nation-one-language-appeals-people-to-fulfil-gandhis-dream-2308459.html (accessed 10 June 2021).
- Anonymous (October 04, 2019c). ‘One Nation, One Language’ Would Slowly Kill India’s Regional Lan-guages. The Telegraph. Available at: telegraphindia.com/opinion/one-nation-one-language-would-slowly-kill-indias-regional-languages/cid/1709879 (accessed 28 July 2021).
- Apolzan, Ilinca (2008). Does Europe Need One Language? An Analysis of the Challenging Linguistic Diversity in the European Union. Munich: GRIN Verlag.
- Arel, Dominique (2001). Language Categories in Censuses: Backward- or Forward Looking? In Kertzer & Arel (Eds.), Census and Identity: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Language in National Censuses (pp. 92–120). Cambridge: University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511606045.005.
- Baldridge, Jason (2002) (Ed.). Reconciling Linguistic Diversity: The History and the Future of Lan-guage Policy in India, Language in India, 2(3).
- Balibar, Etienne (2011). The Nation Form: History and Ideology. In Balibar & Wallerstein (Eds.), Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (pp. 86–106). London, New York: Verso.
- Bhartiya Janata Party (2019). Sankalp Patra, Lok Sabha. Available at: timeso-findia.indiatimes.com/realtime/BJP_Election_2019_english.pdf.
- Brass, Paul R. (1974). Language, Religion and Politics in North India. Cambridge: University Press.
- Brass, Paul R. (2003). The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
- Ministry of Home Affairs & Government of India (2011). Census of India, 2011, Language India, States and Union Territories.
- Chatterjee, Partha (1993). The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. Princeton, N.J.: University Press.
- Chaudhary, Shreesh. (2009). Foreigners and Foreign Languages in India. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.
- Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs & Government of India (1949). Constituent Assembly Debate (Proceed-ings), Volume IX. New Delhi.
- Coulmas, Florian (1988). With Forked Tongues: What are National Languages Good For? Ann Arbor, Mich.: Karoma Publ.
- Crystal, David (2000). Language Death. Cambridge: University Press.
- Dahl, Robert A. (1986). Federalism and the Democratic Process, in Democracy, Liberty, and Equality. Oslo: Nor-wegian University Press.
- Farouqui, Ather (1995). The Emerging Dilemma of the Urdu Press in India: A Viewpoint, South Asia – Journal of South Asian Studies, 18(1), 91–103.
- Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1933). Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. Ahmedabad: Navjivan Publish-ing House.
- Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (2017). India of My Dreams: Ideas of Gandhi for a Vibrant and Prosperous Modern India. New Delhi: Diamond Pocket Books.
- Gupta, Jyotirindra Das (1970). Language Conflict and National Development, Group Politics and National Lan-guage Policy in India: The Language Situation in India. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Geetha, V. & Rajadurai, S. V. (1998). Towards a Non-Brahmin Millennium: From Iyothee Thass to Periyar. Cal-cutta: Samya.
- Hobsbawm, Eric John (1990). Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge: University Press.
- Jain, M.P. (2003). Indian Constitutional Law. 5th Edition. New Delhi: Wadhwa.
- Kalra, Aditya & Asokan, Shyamantha (June 19, 2014). Modi's Push for Hindi Struggles to Translate in Some States. Available at: reuters.com/article/india-language-hind-modi-idINKBN0EU1B720140619 (accessed 10 Aug 2022).
- Kazancigil, Ali & Dogan, Mattei (1994). Comparing Nations: Concepts, Strategies, Substance. 1st Edition. Ho-boken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Kumar, Ravinder (2002). India: A ‘Nation?State’ or ‘Civilisation?State’?, South Asia – Journal of South Asian Studies, 25(2), 13–32. DOI: 10.1080/00856400208723473.
- Latifi, Danial (1999). Urdu in U.P. Nation and the World, 44–46.
- Department of Official Language & Ministry of Home Affairs (2011). Constitution of The Committee of Parliament on Official Language, Background, Membership and Activities. Available at: rajbha-sha.nic.in/sites/default/files/cpolreport9-chapter1eng.pdf.
- Ministry of Education & Government of India (1986). National Policy on Education. Available at: educa-tion.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English_0.pdf
- Ministry of Human Resources and Development & Government of India (2019). National Policy on Educa-tion (Draft).
- Ministry of Human Resources and Development & Government of India (2020). National Education Poli-cy.
- Pant, Jagdish C. (2002). Urdu as Mother Tongue Medium at Primary Level. Unpublished paper pre-sented at the conference organized by the Dr. Zakir Hussain Study Circle at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
- Pattanayak, Debi Prasanna (1984). Multilingualism and Language Politics in India. India International Centre Quarterly 11(2), 125–131.
- Ramaswamy, Sumathi (1997). Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891–1970. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Rao, S. Srinivasa (2008). India’s Language Debates and Education of Linguistic Minorities, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(36), 63–69.
- Rohmetra, Ravi (August 23, 2013). A Tribute to Mookerjee. Daily Excelsior. Available at: dailyexcelsi-or.com/a-tribute-to-mookerjee/ (accessed 10 March 2021).
- Stepan, Alfred, Linz, Juan J. & Yadav, Yogendra (2010). The Rise of “State-Nations”, Journal of Democra-cy, 21(3), 50–68.
- Tendulkar, Dinanath Gopal (2016). Mahatma Volume 4: Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Publications Division, M/o Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India.
- The Constitution (Seventh) Amendment Act, 1956, Acts of Parliament, 1956 (India).
- The Constitution of India, 1950.
- The Telegraph Editorial Board (September 17, 2019). One Nation, One Language: Why is Amit Shah In-viting Trouble? The Telegraph. Available at: telegraphindia.com/opinion/one-nation-one-language-why-is-amit-shah-inviting-trouble/cid/1705428 (accessed 5 April 2021).
- The Official Languages (Amendment) Act, 1967, Acts of Parliament, 1967 (India).
- The Official Languages Act, 1963, No. 19, Acts of Parliament, 1963 (India).
- The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, XVII Assembly Third Session, Government of Tamil Nadu, 1986.
- Tirumurthy, Priyanka (September 14, 2019). ‘Only Hindi Can Unite Country’, Home Minister Amit Shah Declares. The News Minute. Available at: thenewsminute.com/article/only-hindi-can-unite-country-home-minister-amit-shah-declares-108882 (accessed July 26, 2021).
- Union of India v. Murasoli Maran (AIR 1977 SC 225).
- Vater, John J. & Sen, Ronojoy (2019). The Three Language Formula Revisited: ‘Hindi Imposition’ Stokes Protests. ISAS Brief, 703, National University of Singapore. Available at: isas.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ISAS-Briefs-703_John-Vater-and-Ronojoy-Sen.pdf
- Venkatachalapathy, A. R. (1995). Dravidian Movement and Saivites: 1927–1944, Economic and Political Weekly, 30(14), 761–768.
- Yadav, Yogendra (August 16, 2013). India is a State-Nation, not a Nation-State. Forbes India. Available at: forbesindia.com/article/independence-special-2013/yogendra-yadav-india-is-a-statenation-not-a-nationstate/35883/1 (accessed 28 March 2021).