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Politics of language

By   /  March 17, 2017  /  Comments Off on Politics of language

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The need to have a common official language in India was felt since the time of the British and with the rise of Indian Nationalism it was given more impetus from the start of the twentieth century. The Indian National Congress in 1937 made it compulsory to teach Hindi in schools across British India.  In almost a century since those pre independence days to the present the policy to propagate Hindi and make it as the official language throughout India still causes controversy from time to time. The need to have a single common language is pertinent especially for a large and diverse country like India. A common language also acts as a uniting factor in nascent nationalist movements though in  later stages as the people become more informed  it transcends to more deeply rooted cultural similarities as well as differences.  A common language no doubt is required to break such barriers between cultures but it does not become a necessity in the long run for two or more cultures to stay together for a unified goal, as evident from across the world.

India post Independence adopted a policy to make Hindi as the National language and as per the constitution, English was to be removed as an official language after 15 years. However this resulted in protest across the country in the states where vernaculars or regional languages other than Hindi were the lingua franca. The most notable was the one in Tamil Nadu that even became violent. This led to the government to amend the constitution and have since then adopted the three language formula. According to the this formula Hindi, English and any modern Indian language (preferably one of the southern languages) in the Hindi speaking states is to be taught in the schools. In the non- non-Hindi speaking States Hindi, English and the Regional language of the state has to be taught. The new education policy in the country also seeks to implement the three language formula .

The centrally sponsored scheme of recruiting Hindi teachers as language teachers is one such initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the country to assist the non-Hindi speaking states in appointing Hindi teachers in schools. This is a 100 percent centrally funded scheme with annual audits and progress report being submitted to the centre. This financial assistance have been availed by some of the states in the country. However the centre has been unable to fund the project and teachers have not being paid their dues for the last 10 months especially in the north eastern states of Nagaland and Mizoram. Unlike the other states the Northeast states was supposed to have no time duration for the assistance to continue. With the CBSE looking forward to implement the three language formula in all its schools after 2020, the centre might also be planning for another alternative programme in the government schools. This has led to a scenario where  the future of those teachers and their families employed under this scheme has become quite uncerrtain. Although the future employment in the same scheme may not be guaranteed at this time, the government of the day has to assist the teachers in taking the demand  for their due salaries to the appropriate ministry in the central government before it becomes a humanitarian crises.

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