Hindi is an official language

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By OUR LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 20.04.13
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New Delhi, April 19: Article 343 of the Constitution states that Hindi in Devnagari script is the official language of India. The general misconception is that it is the national language.

The article also states that English is an additional language for official work.

Article 345 says India may officially adopt one or more languages in use in the state or Hindi/English as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that state.

India has also granted official status to about 22 other languages.

India cannot claim to have a national language as neither any statutory provision nor the Constitution defines any language as a national language.

In January 2010, while dealing with a complaint relating to packing of commercial products, Gujarat High Court had ruled that Hindi was not the national language.

The High Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice S.J. Mukherjee, had refused to direct the authorities to carry details of the packed goods in Hindi, saying though it was one of the official languages, it was not the national language.

The judgment has since not been challenged in any court of the country.