Question: Point out one feature in the practice of federalism in India that is similar to any one feature that is different from that of Belgium.
Answer: One similar feature of Federalism between India and Belgium : India and Belgium are both holding together federations where the Central Governments tend to be more powerful vis-a-vis the states.
One different feature of Federalism between India and Belgium : In Belgium, there are three Ans. kinds of government – government at the centre, government at the state level and third kind of government is the community government. The community government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues. But in India, there is no third kind of government, there is no community government.
Question: Explain the language policy of Indian Federal. How is it different from Sri Lanka ?
Write any four characteristics of language policy of India. [CBSE 2011]
Describe in brief the language policy of India. [CBSE 2010]
- No National Language: Our Constitution did not give the status of national language to any one language. Hindi was identified as the official language. But Hindi is the mother tongue of only about 40 per cent of Indians. Therefore, there were many safeguards to protect other languages.
- Scheduled Languages: Besides Hindi, there are 22 other languages recognized as Scheduled Languages by the Constitution. A candidate in an examination conducted for the Central Government positions may opt to take the examination in any of these languages. States too have their own official languages. Much of the government work takes place in the official language of the concerned State.
- Spread of Hindi with cautious approach: Unlike Sri Lanka, the leaders of our country adopted a very cautious attitude in spreading the use of Hindi. According to the Constitution, the use of English for official purposes was to stop in 1965. However, many non-Hindi-speaking States demanded that the use of English continue. In Tamil Nadu, this movement took a violent form. The Central Government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes. Promotion of Hindi continues to be the official policy of the Government of India. Promotion does not mean that the Central Government can impose Hindi on States where people speak a different language.
- Language policy of Sri Lanka: In 1956, an Act was passed by the Sri Lankan government to recognize Sinhala as the only official language whereas in case of India the government agreed to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes.
Question: Why were the linguistic states created? What are their advantages? [CBSE 2008 (Compt)]
- Common Language: Many states were created on the basis of language to ensure that people who speak the same language lived in the same state.
- Common culture, ethnicity or geography: Some States were created not on the basis of language but to recognize differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography. These include States like Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
- Advantages: The experience has shown that the formation of linguistic States has actually made the country, more united. It has also made administration easier.
Question: “The creation of linguistic states was the first and major test for democratic politics in our country.” Justify this statement. [CBSE 2011, 14]
Answer: In 1947, the boundaries of several old States of India were changed in order to create new States. This was done to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same State. Some States were created not on the basis of language but to recognize differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography. These include States like Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. When the demand for the formation of States on the basis of language was raised, some national leaders feared that it would lead to the disintegration of the country. The Central Government resisted linguistic States for some time. But the experience has shown that the formation of linguistic States has actually made the country more united. It has also made administration easier.