India is a vibrant linguistic nation with a wide range of languages spoken in different parts of the country. Based on popular demand, the states have been constituted on a linguistic basis after the Fazal Ali commission report, which emphasized on the need to do. Linguistic states contributing to the unity of the country is always a matter of debate.
How linguistic states strengthened the unity of the country
- Focus on national issues
Earlier to the reorganization of states, the focus would be on the rights of the state, language, and protection of indigenous culture. After the reorganization, the state and its people no longer have to worry about their existence as it has already been secured so they focused more on the issues that concern our country as a whole.
- Cultural heritage
Pride on cultural heritage was not only restricted to language or local culture. It translated into a national heritage that allowed people to associate themselves with the rest of the citizens of India. This allowed regionalism to translate into nationalism.
How linguistic states have withered Indian unity
- Rise of regionalism
The formation of linguistic states strengthened the political narrative of certain sections that allowed them to propagate regionalism. Regionalism created a sense of separate identity for a state that dissociated them from the rest of the country and degraded Indian unity.
Language has become an issue of dispute between two or more states. Linguistic minorities have been considered alien and their rights are being suppressed. Infighting takes place between sections of people on the issue of language and the core of Indian unity is destroyed.
Thus, linguistic states were necessary considering the need to protect the language and culture of people. But for fulfilling that obligation, certain values such as the unity of the nation has been compromised.
In Other Hands:
India is a nation of diversity and different languages. While 49% of us depend on Hindi for daily communication and the rest 51% on other, linguistic differences were always a part of the machinery. The States Reorganisation Act 1956 organized states and territories in linguistic order. Ever since then, several pros and cons came into notice.
1. Cultural heritage promotion took a positive leap as the states could promote it on the various (national and international) level.
2. Creation of linguistic states created a feeling of inclusion among the local population as they got an identity based on their language.
3. Creation of linguistic states resulted in a greater focus on national issues. The state had more flexibility to focus on rights issues, allotment of resources, social interests, etc.
4. It created a distinct identity especially for the indigenous community and the local tribes.
1. It has created a feeling of individualism among the linguistic states, defeating the complete purpose of national harmony and brotherhood.
2. The linguistic minority is often degraded and often prejudiced to discrimination when it comes to Central Govt. schemes.
Thus, linguistic states help to preserve and promote the local tradition and culture of a place but it leads to the rising of Regionalism, interstate disputes, and feeling of alienation among the linguistic minority. India should focus on a language that could be held as our global identity and also take the required steps to focus on its “One Nation One Language” goal coined on Sept. 14th, 2019 by Amit Shah without undermining the interests of the other 51% non-Hindi speaking population.