Official State Languages query

Narayan S. Raja raja at galileo.IFA.Hawaii.Edu
Tue Aug 20 03:41:31 UTC 1996

On Mon, 19 Aug 1996 gail at wrote:

> The important point
> is granting people the *right* to open schools in their own languages.

I'm pretty sure that this is
not an issue at all, i.e., i.e.,
it is perfectly legal, right now,
to start a school and teach in 
any language one wants!  Whether
that school would be eligible for
govt. subsidies, or whether govt. 
subsidies would be available to 
print textbooks in that language, 
is a different matter.  There are
three reasons why I think that this
"right" already exists:

1.    I would guess that there is, in
      fact, NO LAW that either explicitly 
      permits, or prohibits, opening a school 
      in whatever language one chooses --
      just as there is probably no law
      that explicitly permits, or prohibits,
      people from wearing any ethnic clothes
      they feel like.  I.e., I guess that
      just as there is no reason to press for a 
      law that explicitly permits people to wear
      langotis -- the current legal position
      presumably being that the law is blind
      to langotis -- similarly, there is no 
      reason to press for a law that explicitly 
      allows, or disallows, teaching in any language.
2.    Further, I would guess that the right to
      teach in any language is already
      implied by the Fundamental Right
      to "freedom of expression".  Probably,
      this has never been tested in the courts,
      for the simple reason that in India,
      nobody could care less if you want to
      teach, in, say, Albanian, so long as
      you don't ask the govt. to pay for it.
3.    New States are created, and additional
      languages are added to Section no. whatever
      of the Constitution, with monotonous
      regularity.  For example, Nepali and
      Konkani were added only recently.  I
      strongly doubt that Konkani- or Nepali-
      medium schools were illegal, or non-existent,
      before some politicians in Delhi got
      around to adding those languages to the list.



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