LANGUAGES OF INDIA

 

National Language of India

The part that describes the official language of the Indian democracy have to be written to promote a feeling of unity among Indian citizens. As we know that even today anywhere between 300 to 1,000 languages are spoken in India, this makes an integral part of the Indian constitution.

The official language of India shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals. 

Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used immediately before such commencement: Provided that the President may, during the said period, by order authorise the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and of the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of the official purposes of the Union. 

Notwithstanding anything in this article, Parliament may by law provide for the use, after the said period of fifteen years, of- 

The English language, or 

The Devanagari form of numerals, for such purposes as may be specified in the law.



Article 345. Official language or languages of a State:-

Subject to the provisions of articles 346 and 347, the Legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State:

Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution.

Article 346. Official language for communication between one State and another or between a State and the Union: - 

The language for the time being authorised for use in the Union for official purposes shall be the official language for communication between one State and another State and between a State and the Union:

Provided that if two or more States agree that the Hindi language should be the official language for communication between such States, that language may be used for such communication.

Article 347. Special provision relating to language spoken by a section of the population of a State: -

On a demand being made in that behalf the President may, if he is satisfied that a substantial proportion of the population of a State desire the use of any language spoken by them to be recognised by that State, direct that such language shall also be officially recognised throughout that State or any part thereof for such purpose as he may specify.

Special Directives: -

Article 350. Language to be used in representations for redress of grievances: -

Every person shall be entitled to submit a representation for the redress of any grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a State in any of the languages used in the Union or in the State, as the case may be.

Article 350A. Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage: -

It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such facilities.

Article 350B. Special Officer for linguistic minorities: -

There shall be a Special Officer for linguistic minorities to be appointed by the President. It shall be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct, and the President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the Governments of the States concerned. 

Article 351. Directive for development of the Hindi language: -

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.

 

India, a potpourri of different cultures, religions and beliefs, is home to not just one or two languages but to an uncountable number of different lingual families. Languages belonging to the two major language families - Indo Aryan and Dravidian - are spoken by more than 90% of the people of India. Know more about the languages of India with India Language Map.
 

According to Ethnologue, India is considered to be home to 461 languages, out of which 14 have been reported to be extinct.

 

Assamese

A language of Assam that's spoken by nearly 60 percent of the State's population.

Bengali

An official language of West Bengal, now spoken by nearly 200 million people in West Bengal and in Bangladesh.

Bodo

It is the language spoken by the Bodo people of Assam and comes under the Assam-Burmese group of languages

Dogri

Mainly spoken by the people of Jammu region

Gujarati

It is the official language of Gujarat. 70 percent of the State's population speak Gujrathi but it the most spread language not only in India but also abroad.

Hindi

The official language of India, accent and dialect differs with different regions but almost every Indian has a working knowledge of Hindi. It is written in a Devanagiri script.

Kannada

A language of Karnataka and is spoken by 65 percent of the state's population. It belongs to the Dravidian family.

Kashmiri

Though the language is mistaken as a state language of Kashmir only 55 per cent of the state's population speak Kashmiri.

Konkani

Spoken in the Konkan region stretched across Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.

Maithili

Mostly spoken in the parts of Bihar and the eastern Terai region of Nepal

Malayalam

The state language of Kerala. It is the youngest of all developed languages in the Dravidian family.

Manipuri/Meitei

official language of state of Manipur.

Marathi

An official language of Maharashtra. It has a fully developed literature of the modern type.

Nepali

The official language of Nepal, it is also spoken in some north eastern parts of India

Oriya

A branch of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of the State of Orissa.

Punjabi

The official language of the State of Punjab. It is written in Gurmukhi script, created by the Sikh Guru, Angad.

Sanskrit

The classical language of India that has lost it's value in the modern world. It is also one of the oldest languages in the world- perhaps the oldest to be recorded. All the ancient scripts are found to be written in the same language.

Santhali

Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa)

Sindhi

Is spoken by a great number of people in the Northwest frontier of the Indian sub-continent comprising parts of India and Pakistan.

Tamil

The State language of Tamil Nadu. Tamil literature goes back to Centuries before the Christian era and is spoken by more than 73 million people. It belongs to the Dravidian language family.

Telugu

A language of Andhra Pradesh. It is numerically the biggest linguistic unit in India.

Urdu

The state language of Jammu and Kashmir and is spoken by more than 28 million people in India. Urdu and Hindi have proceeded from the same source. Urdu is written in the Persio - Arabic script and contains many words from the Persian language.

 

 

List by number of native speakers in India



The 2001 census recorded 29 individual languages as having more than 1 million native speakers
 

Rank

Language

2001 census

 

 

Speakers

Percentage

1

Hindi languages

422,048,642

41.03%

2

Bengali

83,369,769

8.11%

3

Telugu

74,002,856

7.19%

4

Marathi

71,936,894

6.99%

5

Tamil

60,793,814

5.91%

6

Urdu

51,536,111

5.01%

7

Gujarati

46,091,617

4.48%

8

Kannada

37,924,011

3.69%

9

Malayalam

33,066,392

3.21%

10

Oriya

33,017,446

3.21%

11

Punjabi

29,102,477

2.83%

12

Assamese

13,168,484

1.28%

13

Maithili

12,179,122

1.18%

14

Bhili/Bhilodi

9,582,957

0.93%

15

Santali

6,469,600

0.63%

16

Kashmiri

5,527,698

0.54%

17

Nepali

2,871,749

0.28%

18

Gondi

2,713,790

0.26%

19

Sindhi

2,535,485

0.25%

20

Konkani

2,489,015

0.24%

21

Dogri

2,282,589

0.22%

22

Khandeshi

2,075,258

0.21%

23

Kurukh

1,751,489

0.17%

24

Tulu

1,722,768

0.17%

25

Meitei/Manipuri

1,466,705*

0.14%

26

Bodo

1,350,478

0.13%

27

Khasi

1,128,575

0.11%

28

Mundari

1,061,352

0.10%

29

Ho

1,042,724

0.10%



 

Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2001


 

Sl No.

Language

Persons who returned the language as their mother tongue

Percentage to total population

1

Hindi

422,048,642

41.03

2

Bengali

83,369,769

8.11

3

Telugu

74,002,856

7.19

4

Marathi

71,936,894

6.99

5

Tamil

60,793,814

5.91

6

Urdu

51,536,111

5.01

7

Gujarati

46,091,617

4.48

8

Kannada

37,924,011

3.69

9

Malayalam

33,066,392

3.21

10

Oriya

33,017,446

3.21

11

Punjabi

29,102,477

2.83

12

Assamese

13,168,484

1.28

13

Maithili

12,179,122

1.18

14

Santali

6,469,600

0.63

15

Kashmiri

5,527,698

0.54

16

Nepali

2,871,749

0.28

17

Sindhi

2,535,485

0.25

18

Konkani

2,489,015

0.24

19

Dogri

2,282,589

0.22

20

Manipuri *

1,466,705

0.14

21

Bodo

1,350,478

0.13

22

Sanskrit

14,135

N



 

States official languages


 

SL NO

STATES

Official Languages

Additional Official Languages

1

Andhra Pradesh

Telugu

Urdu

2

Arunachal Pradesh

English

 

3

Assam

Assamese

 

4

Bihar

Hindi

Urdu

5

Chhattisgarh

Hindi

 

6

Goa

Konkani

Marathi

7

Gujarat

Gujarati

 

8

Haryana

Hindi

 

9

Himachal Pradesh

Hindi

English

10

Jammu and Kashmir

Urdu

 

11

Jharkhand

Hindi

Urdu

12

Karnataka

Kannada

 

13

Kerala

Malayalam

 

14

Madhya Pradesh

Hindi

 

15

Maharashtra

Marathi

 

16

Manipur

Manipuri

English

17

Meghalaya

English

Khasi

18

Mizoram

Mizo, English, Hindi

 

19

Nagaland

English

 

20

Odisha

Odia

 

21

Punjab

Punjabi (in Gurumukhi Script)

 

22

Rajasthan

Hindi

English

23

Sikkim

English

 

24

Tamil Nadu

Tamil

English

25

Telangana

Telugu and Urdu

 

26

Tripura

Bengali, Kokborok and English

 

27

Uttar Pradesh

Hindi

Urdu

28

Uttarakhand

Hindi

 

29

West Bengal

Bengali

Hindi, Urdu, Santhali, Oriya and Punjabi, Nepali

SL NO

Union Territory

Official Languages

Other officially recognised languages

1

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

English, Hindi

 

2

Chandigarh

English

Punjabi and Hindi

3

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Hindi and Gujarati

Marathi

4

Daman and Diu

Konkani and Gujarati

 

5

Delhi

Hindi

Punjabi, Urdu

6

Lakshadweep

English

Hindi

7

Puducherry

Tamil, English

Malayalam and Telugu

 

Other local languages and dialects



The 2001 census identified the following native languages having more than one million speakers. All of them are dialects/variants grouped under Hindi or Oriya
 

Sl No.

Dialects

Speakers

1

Bhojpuri

33,099,497

2

Rajasthani

18,355,613

3

Magadh/Magahi

13,978,565

4

Chhattisgarhi

13,260,186

5

Haryanvi

7,997,192

6

Marwari

7,936,183

7

Malvi

5,565,167

8

Mewari

5,091,697

9

Khorth/Khotta

4,725,927

10

Bundeli/Bundelkhan

3,072,147

11

Bagheli/Baghel Khan

2,865,011

12

Pahari

2,832,825

13

Laman/Lambadi

2,707,562

14

Awadhi

2,529,308

15

Harauti

2,462,867

16

Garhwali

2,267,314

17

Nimadi

2,148,146

18

Sadan/Sadri

2,044,776

19

Kumauni

2,003,783

20

Dhundhari

1,871,130

21

Surgujia

1,458,533

22

Bagri Rajasthani

1,434,123

23

Banjari

1,259,821

24

Nagpuria (Varhadi)

1,242,586

25

Surajpuri

1,217,019

26

Kangri

1,122,843

 

SOURCE:
50th REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES IN INDIA (July 2012 to June 2013)
http://nclm.nic.in/shared/linkimages/ NCLM50thReport.pdf