Indian Government False Propaganda: Hindi is India's National Language

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 2010 (ID. 2010-06-02); Updated 2018-03-01
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Indian constitution does not accord the status of national language to any language. It accords Hindi the status of official language. We present here examples of Indian government false propaganda by President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, CBSE school textbooks and senior officials that Hindi is India's national language. Even the Gujarat State High Court ruled that Hindi is not the national language. But still the false propaganda continues. Should some one sue in the Indian Supreme Court? That is discussed in the FINAL COMMENTS at the end. First we present several examples of the false propaganda. (CBSE - Central Board of Secondary Education)


I heard about a television quiz program seen all over India through satellite system. It was hosted by a popular Hindi movie star. He asks contestants, "What is our [India's] national language?" A contestant answers, "Hindi". The host says, "Correct". Applause, applause. Actually the answer was wrong. Hindi is not India's national language. India does not have a national language. Indian constitution accords Hindi the status of official language, not national language. Yet many Hindi speakers as well as many non-Hind speakers think that Hindi is India's national language.


There is a recent court ruling about the status of Hindi. A man named Suresh Kacharia filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court asking it to require manufacturers of packaged items to use Hindi labels because Hindi is the national language. The Gujarat High Court dismissed the petition and said that the Indian government had not issued any notification conferring the national language status to Hindi. [Times of India: January 25, 2010]

Even after the court ruling, many people go around saying that Hindi is the national language of India. It is one thing for ignorant or misinformed people and TV producers thinking that Hindi is India's national language but when a senior Indian government official refers to Hindi as India's national language, that deserves scrutiny.


Children attending Indian government controlled CBSE schools are brainwashed with the falsehood. In 2016, The book "Hiawatha - The Scholar’s Mother Tongue" is used as an English text for Class 4 (Unit 7) at CBSE schools. There is a crossword puzzle in that book. Clue for one entry is "This is our national language". It is a five letter word starting with H. Teachers are going to tell the students that the answer is Hindi (no other Indian language starts with H and has 5 letters). Thus a false information glorifying Hindi is infused into the brains of 4-th grade students.  (CBSE - Central Board of Secondary Education). This is after the Gujarat High Court ruling. May be some one should sue CBSE in the Indian Supreme Court to stop propagating the false information that Hindi is the national language of India.


Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Indore held a Hindi Workshop on December 29, 2016 to promote the "national language" (Free Press Journal; December 30, 2016). Future managers who would work all around India were fed the false propaganda that Hindi is the national language of India.


Indian Finance Ministry was developing a symbol for Indian Rupees (similar to the $ symbol for American dollar). In 2009 an Indian Finance Ministry official said, "The symbol should represent the historical and cultural ethos of India and be widely accepted across the country. The symbol will also have to be in the Indian national language script or a visual representation." What national language is this official referring? India does not have a national language.


At the annual official language conference in June 2010, organized by BSNLC hnenai Telephones, Pradip Kumar Sharma, Deputy Director of Central Hindi Directorate said that people must learn both the national language and the state language. What national language? Is this high ranking official in the Central Hindi Directorate ignorant that Hindi is not India's national language.


On July 20, 2009, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Kalraj Mishra objected to Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh replying in English to a supplementary question asked in Hindi. To this Ramesh said in Hindi, "this disease of Mulyam Singh Yadav has reached you", referring to another Hindi chauvenist Mulyam Singh Yadav who had often criticized ministers who know both Hindi and English replying in Hindi. This created uproar from some Hindi MPs that Hindi is not a disease. Vice-President and Chairman of the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Hamid Ansari ruled that any comment against the national language would be expunged. What national language? A man chairing over the proceedings of the Indian parliament should know Hindi is not India's national language. 


On August 13, 2010, there was some conflict and discussion over a member of parliament demanding that questions put to a minister in Hindi must be answered in Hindi if the minister knows Hindi. During this discussion, not only a member of parliament from Bihar, Hukm Deo Narayan Yadav, but even the speaker of parliament Meira Kumar referred to Hindi as the national language [Thina Thanthi (Tamil): August 14, 2010]. May be Hukm Deo Narayan Yada is ignorant that Hindi is not India's national language. Should the speaker of the parliament know a little more about what the constitution says about languages?


Speaking at a function in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in February 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Young people in the state are eager to learn Hindi and the state is ahead of all others in the northeast in picking up the national language" (NDTV website; February 15, 2018).


In the some of the preceding sections, we had listed several instances of high-level Indian officials wrongly stating that Hindi is India's national language. Here is one more, from the highest official of the Government of India--the President of India.

Speaking at the 2012 Hindi Day (Hindi Diwas), Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said, "... in our constitution, Hindi has been given the status of national language" [Yahoo News: September 14, 2012]. The President is either ignorant or lying through the teeth to hoodwink people into believing Hindi is India's national language. By the way, his mother tongue is not Hindi and his knowledge of Hindi is limited. Pranab Mukherjee told an interviewer on May 14, 2009, "If you don't know Hindi, you cannot be a prime minister" [India Today: May 15, 2009], and thus abandoned any hope of becoming the prime minister of India. He seems to be satisfied with the ceremonial post of president which has no real power. Yet, should he not know that Hindi is not India's national language?

Final Comment

Either all these politicians and government officials are ignorant or think that if they repeat again and again "Hindi is India's national language" people would believe that. Another interesting thing is that most of the newspapers that reported these events did not mention that what these politicians and officials are saying is wrong and Hindi is not India's national language.

It is time we, the non-Hindi peoples, stop this false propaganda from Indian government politicians and high-ranking officials that Hindi is India’s national language. I ask some lawyer to file a lawsuit in the Indian Supreme Court to stop these people from indoctrinating India’s youth with false information. It is not freedom of speech. If someone in the street or my neighbour tells this I may argue with him/her but will not file a lawsuit against him. But all these people we mentioned are government officials (President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament are government officials too) and they are duty bound not to feed people with false information. So the Supreme Court may put an end to it if a lawsuit is filed. I ask some lawyer to file a public interest lawsuit or some organization or political party to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit. THIS INDIAN GOVERNMENT FALSE PROPAGANDA SHOULD END.

[NOTE: Although the Indian constitution accords the official language status to Hindi, there is opposition to it in some non-Hindi states, especially in Tamil Nadu State where Hindi is not taught in any school under state government jurisdiction.]


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