Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn took a sarcastic dig at Kannada superstar Kiccha Sudeep after the Vikrant Rona actor said 'Hindi is no more a national language'. Ajay tweeted in Hindi, and a part of it can be translated as 'Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language'.
But is Hindi really our National language?
Spoken as a native language by more than 258 million people across the world, Hindi is a significant part of India's history and culture. The Indo-Aryan Language is based on the Devanagari script, and is primarily spoken in Northern and central India.
Despite some public assertions made by government officials at various time, official records indicate that India has no National Language altogether. In 2017 for example, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had insisted that Hindi was the National Language, even as he lamented India's "obsession" with English.
The debate has been raging since before independence. A Constituent Assembly meeting in 1946 for example saw RV Dhulekar speaking in Hindustani and later contending that those who did not understand the language "had no right to stay in India”.
In 2010, the Gujarat High Court had observed that while a majority of people in India have accepted it as a national language, "there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country".
Over the years, government proposals including those that proposed mandatory teaching of Hindi in school have sparked debate. Many non-Hindi speaking states have also railed against the pan-India adoption of the another language. In daily usage, while Hindi or English are the preferred chose, other languages are often entertained. In the Parliament for example, any member who cannot adequately express himself in Hindi or in English may be permitted to address the House in his mother-tongue.
The Internet stands divided on Ajay Devgn’s statement about Hindi as a national language.