Correction: Official vs. National Language

In the initial writing of the article “Hindi, English or Nothing: Politics of India’s National Languages“, this author made an error, using the terms “official language” and  “national language” interchangeably at one point. The mistake is deeply regretted. Since this blog aims to be a credible source of information and analysis, it must own up to its mistakes. By the way, thanks to Achal Kathuria for pointing it out.

There remains considerable confusion over the clear distinction between Official and National Language, to the extent that Gujarat High Court had to rule on it 2010. Even now, it seems there are no good legal definitions on the subject. Here is a good way to understand it:

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India is a land of thousand myths but no memory. We, as a people, have absolutely no recollection of our past, only mangled fantasies and half-true gossips. May be one of the greatest tragedies of the nation is that its tragedies and triumphs have faded away from the public consciousness, replaced by only hazy legends and complete apathy.

Of course, India does not stand alone in misunderstanding its history or reinterpreting its past to suit to contemporary political or nationalistic needs. Glorifying catastrophes and turning heroes into villains or vice versa has been a long-standing sleight of hand employed in countries around the world.

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