The country is in need of one language which unites everyone. Instead of critising the attempt to promote Hindi, the southern states should consider this fact that India needs a language which they can call as its national language. I feel, India is the only country in the world which does not has a common language spoken across the states. We have a huge population, but only 3.5 per cent of the population speak English. As the country does not have a national language which is accepted by all states, the unity of its people can be in a disturbed state. If a Maharashtrian goes to Karnataka, he finds himself as a stranger in his own country due to language issues. What the country needs today is one language that it can call its own. So if not Hindi, then let’s make it English. This debate over Hindi as a national language should not be politicised and divide the country.
— Rajan Khan, Marathi writer
This will create unnecessary discord
It is wrong on the government’s part to be pushy in promoting Hindi as an official language on the social media. It is not a language that can be spoken all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. India is a diverse country where different people speak different languages and imposing Hindi language is not possible. It is not easy for all the people to learn Hindi. Not everyone knows Hindi in this country. The attempt to impose Hindi on the non-Hindi speaking population will create unnecessary discord in the country. There are many people from the south Indians states who do not know the language and do not even want to learn it. This issue was raised even in the past. Marathi people know Hindi because of their devanagari script, but people from other parts of the country have different scripts for their languages. Uniform Language Policy can not be imposed in a diverse country like India.
— Salim Sheikh, advocate and social activist
Indians must cherish their polyglot identity
The new government is merely trying to promote Hindi which is also the state language. This is a significant move since social media is making inroads and covering a substantial section of our society. Every nation seeks to have a link language and Hindi is spoken by a substantial section, the exceptions being the Northeastern states and Tamil Nadu. While other southern states have benefited by the three language policy, the linguistic sub nationalism remains an easy political tool of convenience, in the political spectrum of Tamil Nadu. This issue must be addressed in a holistic manner, lest a sense of second class citizenship emerges based on the linguistic affiliation. The government at the same time must ensure promotion of languages such as Marathi, Tamil and Telugu in the north, through its Kendriya Vidyalayas, in order to promote our rich cultural heritage and polyglot identity. Moreover, in an age of IT revolution, no state in the world can afford to impose any language.
— R Radhakrishnan, political analyst
Southern states are not comfortable with Hindi
India is not a homogeneous country, but it is highly heterogeneous. It is a nation of several languages and traditions. Hindi is a language which is predominantly spoken in the northern part of the country. Hindi is not a national language but is an official language. Therefore, all over the nation, English and Hindi are predominately used to communicate. English is, however, preferred as it is a universal language. South Indian states are not comfortable with Hindi and find it difficult to adjust with it. Even in the past when this move was taken up, many opposed the move as they did not want Hindi to be forced on them. If over 40 to 50 per cent of the population in the country is opposing the governments move to promote Hindi as a official language, then the government should stop doing it.
— Harshad Bhosale, assistant professor, political science
We should respect other languages
Basically, being a south Indian, I have never learnt Hindi during my school days. However, later I realised the need of the language and grasped it quickly. According to me, any person getting an opportunity to learn a language is really a good thing. However, core South Indians love their native languages and are proud of it, but we should understand that being in a democratic country, we should also respect other languages and should have a bridge language for communication between different communities and religions. Many of the central government people are deployed in various states and Hindi is the official language to communicate with the non-regional language speaking people in the office. However, directly imposing Hindi language will only lead into agitation. There should be a motive to pursue anything in life even if it is a language. The government should think in this direction and act accordingly.
— Vamshi Gangula, student
A person is free to choose his language
Imposing Hindi as the official language all over the country is not possible because the states which are into regional speaking domination won’t accept such a sudden move. States such as Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu don’t have Hindi being taught in their schools.
Sudden imposing of Hindi will be difficult for those who have never used Hindi for communication ever in their life. English is, however, a more preferable language
than Hindi in our country, as it has become an official language of communication across all states. India is democratic country
and every citizen has the freedom of expression and speech. Therefore, a person has a freedom of choice to use any language of his/her preference. However, the country needs one commonly used language so that a person feels at home while travelling to any part of the country. Language should not act as a barrier.
—Sunny Pabba, student