The dangers of Hindi chauvinism
Hindi can be first among equals when it comes to national languages, but it cannot hope to become the only one
One of the most detailed debates in the Constituent Assembly was whether Hindi should be the official language of India. Even today, anybody reading the brilliant debates in the constituent assembly may be puzzled by why so much time was spent on the language issue compared to many other more fundamental constitutional design challenges. B.R. Ambedkar later revealed that no other issue had generated as much heat as the one on the official language of the new republic. Hindi was accepted by a slim margin of one vote. It was supposed to replace English in 1965 as the language of government. The status quo was maintained after violent agitations in several states of peninsular India.