Letter to the Editor regarding to the issue of language.
The official language of any nation should be the spoken language of the majority of the people, not the literary language of the few. The formers of our constitution were most justified in providing that Hindi should be the official language after fifteen years. Unfortunately, in January 1966, when the time came for implementation, some of us, belonging to non-Hindi states; suddenly awoke from a deep sleep. During this period, neither the government of India nor the Governments of the non-Hindi states ever tried to implement any effective educational scheme to honour the provisions of constitution.
It is really sad that, after 18 years, we have not been able to use our own language which is spoken and understood by more than fifty per cent of us. It is still worse that the English language which is being used is not even understood by more than two per cent of us. The language issue is the most important issue of today. It must be dealt with effectively now if we are to defeat the increasing forces of disintegration. Government should find some solution hereand now and implement it at once so that with a limited number of years, say 10, we can have Hindi as our official language.
In order to ensure this, we have to remove two important doubts from the minds of the non-Hindi-speaking people by putting forward a language policy by which first, Hindi states are not put in a position of advantage over non-Hindi States in the matter of recruitment to service and, secondly, no difficulty comes for students reading for the highest academic or technical courses.
I have tried to summarize a scheme that meets all valid objections. This can be explained in following five points:
(i) Regional language should be the medium of education up to the highest level and also the medium of examination for all services in India;
(ii) The examination scheme for recruitment to central services must include two compulsory papers of equal marks, one each in Hindi and the regional language;
(iii) The regional language should be taught from the first to the eight year of education.
(iv) Hindi should be compulsorily taught from the seventh to the twelfth year of education throughout India, except in Hindi areas where one regional language should be taught in place of Hindi.
(v) Facilities for the learning of English or Russian should exist from the eleventh to the sixteenth year of education, irrespective of the type of education – academic, medical or technical.
Institutions not complying with Government’s directives along these lines should not be given any financial aid or recognition. There can be no two standards of education in a socialist country.