Attitudes to Hindi, Tamil, etc.

jacob.baltuch at jacob.baltuch at
Mon Apr 14 19:34:03 UTC 1997

I realize this is a contentious issue but I'm sure
this doesn't need to degenerate. Not on this list,
I hope. I was simply interested in understanding
the logic behind language policies, unless of course
it is just a historical accident. Beside the interest
it presents for understanding India, to me it is also
interesting because some day, if Europe is ever to
become something real politically, I suspect there
will be a lot of the same arguments going on here.

For now what I seem to gather is that the problem is
not soluble. I wonder if one radical solution was
ever envisaged, namely a "no official language" policy?

In practice a language needs to be chosen, but on a
case by case basis, with no symbolic implications
attached and with the practical importance of having
one single communication language in specific cases
being more obvious to everyone, wouldn't that be easier?

For example can I assume the Indian armed forces function
in only one language? (English? Hindi?)

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