Why #GOIMakeMyLanguageOfficial Has Been Trending

If your mother tongue is Hindi or if you, like Indians from many regions of the county, were brought up to speak your mother tongue as well as Hindi, this doesn’t matter much. But for a large swathes of the country where Hindi is not spoken, it is a language that feels like an imposition; events such as Hindi Day seem a travesty and an attempt to undermine regional tongues while foisting another forcibly on entire populaces.

#GOIMakeMyLanguageOfficial – a social media campaign on Hindi Day

It was a campaign by the The Kannada Grahakara Koota that petitioned GOI (Government of India) to declare all scheduled languages as official languages of the government.

Indian languages - some facts and figures

As of the 1961 census, there were 1652 languages and dialects in India, but since them, many of these have died out. Bengali is the 7th most spoken language in the world. English is at no. 3, Hindi at no. 4.

Other facts

However only 41% of the Indian population speaks Hindi; within this as well there are several distinct variations and dialects. Certainly the Hindi spoken colloquially in many parts of the country is very different from the chaste and stiff Hindi taught in schools and used for official purposes.

Many claim that the language policy is flawed

As this Twitter user pointed out, some official documents require the signature of a person knowing Hindi. It is only natural that someone unfamiliar with Hindi would find this an imposition.

These concerns are very real

One Twitter user points out that safety info is not issued in local languages; many are hugely disadvantaged by central services exams being only in Hindi and English.

Non Hindi speakers face lots of problems

Banking exams are also not available in regional languages, instructions in planes, railways etc also deprive people of linguistic rights.

Bid for linguistic equality

If there is a Hindi Diwas, why not Kannada Diwas, Malayalam Diwas and Tamil Diwas? And while we're at it, why not days for each of the North Eastern languages as well?

Even the Cauvery didn’t divide people for a change

Differences of river water sharing were put aside with Tamilians and Kannadigas joining hands to speak in a united voice for #GOIMakeMyLanguageOfficial.

Against the country's federal structure?

One Twitter user pointed out that the imposition of Hindi on non Hindi speaking states was against the principles of federalism.

Why should Indians have to use Google Translate?

Why indeed! It is a fact that Hindi speakers find support in all part of the country even non-Hindi speaking regions, but regional languages do not.

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