A PIL has urged the Bombay High Court to issue a direction to the Union government to spell out the status of Hindi language and also to rename the country as ‘Bharat’ and not ‘India’.
“There is ambiguity in respect of Hindi language… In some text books it is termed as ‘official language’ while in
others it is called as Raj bhasha (state language) or ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ (national language). Some books even refer to Hindi as ‘sampark bhasha’ (contact language),” the PIL said.
The government should clear this ambiguity in the school text books and declare what is the actual status of Hindi language.
The PIL, filed recently, also expressed concern with the dual name of the country viz ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’. “The
country should be known as ‘Bharat’ and citizenship as ‘Bhartiya”, the petition, based on RTI, said.
The petition argues that just as an individual cannot have two names, the country also cannot be called by two
different names viz India, Bharat or Hindustan.
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“When Britishers ruled the country, its name was changed from ‘Bharat’ to ‘India’. After Independence, it
continued to be known as India. The country should be called as ‘Bharat’ which is its original name,” the PIL said.
The petition, filed by RTI activist Manoranjan Roy, said he had received a reply from Ministry of Home Affairs in
New Delhi stating that under the provisions of Constitution, Hindi was the official language of the Union although there was no provision for national language in the constitution.
As far as the name of the country was concerned, the government reply said that no such information was available with the department. A copy of the reply was annexed to PIL. The respondents to the petition are the Union of India and State of Maharashtra. The PIL would come up for hearing in due course.