“THE LAST LESSON” (a chapter from my 11th standard textbook) demonstrated language as a means of freedom. I have now eventually realized how important language is. In a country like India, language indeed plays a very important role, since, it states the basis of all the states created here. It anyhow denotes the boundaries of our freedom.
Our constitution too has granted prominence to the etymological. The provisions in the constitution which deal with Language are:
Article 120(Language to be used in Parliament), Article 210 (Language to be used in the Legislature) Article 343 (Official language of the Union), Article 344 (Commission and Committee of Parliament on official language), Article 345. (Official language or languages of a State), Article 346. (Official languages for Communication between one State and another or between a State and the Union), Article 347. (Special provision relating to language spoken by a section of the population of a State), Article 348. (Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts and for Acts, Bills, etc.), Article 349. (Special procedure for enactment of certain laws relating to language), Article 350. (Language to be used in representations for redress of grievances), Article 350A (Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at the primary), Article 350B (Special Officer for linguistic minorities) and finally,
Article 351- (Directive for development of the Hindi language) which states that, “ It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing, wherever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages.”
Evidently, we are safeguarding our Hindustani culture by safeguarding “HINDI”. People who speak English are called English, French speaking population is called French, Spanish group is called Spanish; this makes language a very important form of identity. The language is thus an instrument disseminating a special character to an individual. By analogical deduction, we may confer that by adopting a new language we are adopting a new identity. It was conferred by a political leader when he demanded the demise of English from India. And, according to some more ideologies it is the language which has sworn the seeds of westernization in India.
Language freedom is indeed freedom; but, what actually is language freedom? And, what came first; freedom or, language? ; language or, identity? ; and, now the third implied question , identity or freedom? These questions require an answer indeed!