“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”- Rita Mae BrownThis phrase hits the nail on the head when it comes to the problem I am talking about. A language can be a flag-bearer for a nation’s domination throughout the globe. There are many countries with one common language, and for their country’s interest and the extension of that language, they invest rather lavishly. They do it because they have learnt one of the tricks that will get them to the top of the global power structure. A more widely used language not only strengthens the authority of its nation of origin but benefits everyone on the planet. It has a subtle but sustained effect on their outreach and possibilities to evolve as a nation, culture, and civilisation.
In India, or Bharat as we know it, there is a diverse population, and there is no exception to language in this regard. According to the Eighth Schedule of our Constitution, 22 languages of India have been given the status of official and native to the country, and English is not among them. Although it has just been more than 50 years since the English language was introduced by British settlers (exploiters), our language has, thanks to their efforts, emerged as the primary language of our nation. However, accepting that English is one of the most globalised languages in the world and that almost 70 nations acknowledge it as their official language, it has failed to get a comparable amount of legal status, such as being recognised in the Constitution. The U.S. Constitution is the ultimate law of the nation, and the purposes and purposes of the Constitution have been stated in the Preamble.
The Preamble of the Constitution, which includes the words “democratic,” “constitution,” and “democratic system of government,” illustrates that the United States has created a system of government that derives its legitimacy from the desire of the people. In 1948-49, the University Education Commission (which included the college presidents) recommended the first such suggestion for a three-language policy. While admitting that Modern Standard Hindi was itself a minority language and that there was no superiority over other languages like Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi, the Commission anticipated Hindi replacing English as the de facto national language of India in all states, making everyone involved in federal duties a party to Hindi. First of all, in this example, we’ve got a lot of factors. They are theoretical and practical, so it’s hard to determine whether this policy is optimal, but the most significant variable is the meaning behind the policy.
National Education Policy,2020
The NEP 2020 is quite explicit in saying that no language would be imposed on any state. While it underlines the need of learning one’s country’s indigenous languages, it stresses the necessity to also do so.
This, all of us, is a testament to the idea that regardless of whether or not we received schooling in our regional languages, we all learn them. According to the NEP 2020, the three languages that children are exposed to early in life are the options of states, regions, and the students themselves, as long as at least two of the three languages are native to India. On the academic side, I see this policy from two perspectives. First, from a viewpoint that is more oriented toward academics, and second, from a viewpoint that looks at learning. As a student, I feel that acquiring three other languages calls for quite a commitment of time and energy. In my opinion, the government is a little excessive in making students submit three papers that must be written in three distinct languages. It is one thing to learn a language, and it is another to use it in a subject at school. Looking from the learning perspective, it does seems as if there is a need for a three-language policy. Because the geographic and linguistic variety of India inspires us to pursue a strategy like this, the only way our kids may learn about other languages that are unique to them such as their mother tongue, English, and their regional language. They must be aware and have the ability to study another Indian language, which might be (maybe) Hindi or (almost certainly) any other language that has been certified by the state.
Language serves as a tool for promoting national unity. Under the three-language approach in the draught NEP 2020, it is easier to resolve disagreements between the north and south Indian voices, since such voices often find themselves on opposing sides. Despite these unresolved uncertainties, the fact that this policy has a real shot of becoming law means that there are still plenty of issues still to be resolved before the legislation has a chance to be implemented. One good example of this is whether or not students will be given the freedom to pick their learning methods. When is the local language considered to be the mother tongue? To which language will English medium schools throughout the country be teaching?
While some of the three-language formulae that are currently being used in certain places has not been applied nationwide, it has done so elsewhere successfully. The formula was implemented in a variety of methods by the various states, and as a consequence, the program’s application has been unequal. in the majority of circumstances, the formula has become a 3 +/- 1 formula While speaking linguistic minority languages, the three-language formula (using the mother tongue, the dominant regional language, and English) became a four-language formula since the speaker had to acquire their mother tongue, the dominant regional language, and Hindi. A large number of Hindi-speaking states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal use Sanskrit instead of any contemporary Indian language (ideally from the south), whereas the other non-Hindi speaking states, such as Tamil Nadu, prefer a two-language formula (Tamil and English). Many boards and organisations allowed European and other languages like Spanish, French, and German to be used instead of Hindi or Sanskrit. Only some States accepted the three-language formula in theory, while others made certain alterations and others completely altered the application of the three-language formula, to the point that it was no longer feasible to put it into practice. Now, the issue is how far has this “Three Language Formula” (also known as the “3 L” formula) been adopted in letter and spirit? How long do you think this is possible to accomplish? Most of the States, except for Tamil Nadu, have agreed to the Three Language Formula in principle. The methods that some states have used include making minor tweaks such as to the range of languages that must be offered to their students, or how long a language must be taught, but other states have gone in a drastically different direction, creating a formula that is structurally unstable and difficult to put into place.
While its intentions are well-meaning, the three-language formula serves as a barrier for bridging the gap between the states due to the linguistic differences. However, it is not the only solution accessible to help to better integrate the diverse population of India. States like Tamil Nadu with its language policy have not only been able to increase the educational levels of citizens, but they have also promoted national integrity even if they have not used the three-language formula. Because the states are given significant latitude when it comes to language policy, and enforcing the federal government’s uniform three language formula on all of India would therefore be considerably more challenging.
Author(s) Name: Aditya Pandey (Chanakya National Law University,Patna)