National Language of India: Official and Scheduled Languages

National Language of India:- India’s rich tapestry of democratic values encompasses a myriad of ethnic cultures, languages, and traditions, leading to a vast array of spoken dialects. With 28 states and 8 union territories, India stands as a union of diverse entities. The linguistic landscape reflects this diversity, often described as “Water changes every mile, speech changes every mile,” where linguistic nuances vary even within short distances. The question of India’s national language and official language frequently arises, prompting discussions to address these inquiries comprehensively.

National Language of India

As of now, the Indian Constitution does not designate any language as the national language. While Hindi was established as the official language, it was predominantly spoken by only 40% of the population, posing a linguistic hurdle for the rest. Consequently, India does not currently have a national language. Recognizing the nation’s diversity and the imperative to safeguard it, the concept of an official language was adopted over a singular national language. This approach averts potential discord that could arise from favoring one language over the hundreds spoken across the country, thereby safeguarding national unity and integrity. Presently, official government proceedings are conducted in the designated official language, alongside which the Official Languages Commission has identified 22 languages, including Hindi and English, as official, a topic we will explore further.

National Language of India

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National Language of India Overview

Article ForNational Language of India: Official and Scheduled Languages
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Year2024
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Official Language of India

In India, while there is no singularly designated national language, the national government has recognized two official languages for communication: Hindi and English. These languages facilitate government operations across the nation, ensuring that official documents and directives are comprehensible to all citizens.

  • Official Language: Hindi serves as the primary language for communication with Hindi-speaking states, while English functions as an associate official language for communication with other states.
  • Minority Language: Conversely, Mahal, spoken in Minicoy, is considered a minority language of India due to its speakers numbering less than 10 lakh.

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Scheduled Languages Of India List State-Wise

The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution enumerates 22 languages designated as scheduled languages of India. Below is the comprehensive list of all official scheduled languages of India:

LanguageStates
AssameseAssam, Arunachal Pradesh
BengaliWest Bengal, Tripura
BodoAssam
DogriJammu and Kashmir (Official language)
GujaratiDadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Gujarat
HindiAndaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
KannadaKarnataka
KashmiriJammu and Kashmir
KonkaniDadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala (Konkan Coast)
MaithiliBihar, Jharkhand
MalayalamKerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry
ManipuriManipur
MarathiMaharashtra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
NepaliSikkim, West Bengal
OriyaOdisha (Official language)
PunjabiPunjab (Official language), Chandigarh (Official language), Delhi (Second official language), Haryana (Second official language)
SanskritHimachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand
SantaliJharkhand, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Odisha, Tripura, West Bengal
SindhiGujarat, Maharashtra (especially Ulhasnagar)
TamilTamil Nadu, Puducherry
TeluguAndhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry
UrduJammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

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8th Schedule Addition in Indian Constitution

The 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution delineates the official languages recognized by the government of India. Initially comprising 14 languages, this schedule has expanded over time to accommodate the evolving needs and demands of the nation, now comprising 22 scheduled languages. Below are the languages that were not part of the original constitution:

  • Sindhi language was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967.
  • Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali were included by the 71st Amendment Act of 1992.
  • Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003, which came into effect in 2004.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, while India lacks a singularly designated national language, Hindi and English serve as the official languages for governmental communication. The 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution recognizes 22 scheduled languages, showcasing the nation’s linguistic diversity. Amendments have expanded this list to accommodate languages such as Sindhi, Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali, reflecting India’s commitment to inclusivity and cultural preservation. These languages play a crucial role in fostering unity and facilitating communication across the diverse landscape of India.

FAQ’s

What is India's scheduled language?

The Constitution's Eighth Schedule encompasses 22 languages: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili, and Dogri.

What is the difference between national language and official language?

An official language pertains to the language endorsed by a government for its operations, distinct from the language commonly spoken by a nation's populace. Conversely, a national language is one spoken widely by a significant portion of a country's population, regardless of whether it holds official status.

Why 22 languages are called scheduled languages?

Scheduled languages are those included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. States possess the autonomy to select any language, regardless of its presence in the 8th schedule, for official purposes.

What is the official language of the Constitution of India?

The designated official language of the Union shall be Hindi written in the Devnagari script.

What is national and official language example?

Various scenarios can occur, such as the case in Paraguay, where Guaraní and Spanish are official languages, with Guaraní also serving as the national language. Similarly, in Tanzania, Swahili and English are official languages, with Swahili being national Language.

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