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
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