Official State Languages query

gail at gail at
Mon Aug 19 19:06:38 UTC 1996

It's true that the country couldn't afford to subsidize schools or
textbooks in all of India's languages. It would have to continue doing
that only with state languages (currently called official languages). 
Schools and provision of textbooks in the remaining languages could be
done perhaps by private agencies or NGOs interested in this issue. Some of
these languages are spoken by pretty wealthy and powerful communities who
could perhaps finance schools in their own languages. The important point
is granting people the *right* to open schools in their own languages. 
The implementation of that right is the next step. Correct me if I'm
wrong, but I think that at present schools can be run only in the official
languages plus English. 

Gail Coelho

On Mon, 19 Aug 1996, David Magier wrote:

> > The status of Official Language should
> > include the right to open schools in these languages. It is true the list
> > of category (iii) would be huge, but after all the 'right to schools' does
> > not necessarily mean that the government has to run these schools, only
> > that people who have the money and energy for it can open such schools if
> > they wish.
> The situation may be a bit more politically complex than this implies.
> For example, there are tremendous state subsidies for production of
> textbooks (which is a very profitable business if you are publishing a
> officially required text), but only in the "official" languages. Thus,
> someone publishing a school textbook in, say, Marwari, will be unable
> to sell copies, and unable to garner the publication subsidies that would
> automatically go to the publisher of, say, a recognized Hindi textbook.
> David Magier

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