Languages are a sensitive topic in India. No surprise many states in India got reorganized on linguistic basis. That’s why it’s judicious not to rattle people on linguistic questions. Unless you knowingly do so.
At an event today marking 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967, Sushma Swaraj External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, rather knowingly (or unknowingly) started an unnecessary controversy (or a necessary one) about the status of languages in India.
While making an announcement that all Passports would now be in both Hindi and English, instead of just English, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said,
“Passports should at least be bilingual. All Arab countries have their passport in Arabic, Germany makes it in German and Russia makes it in Russian. Why can’t we make it Hindi?
“Now, we have given an order to Nashik Printing Press that passports should be
(printed) in Hindi as well. So you will receive passports in Hindi and English,”
The linking of German for Germany, Arabian for Arabs etc. logic was rather unnecessary and; I think wrong.
For this reason. First of all Hindi is not the National Language of India. It’s a wrong opinion or belief that Hindi is our National Language. The Constitution of India does not give any language the status of national language. There are 22 Indian languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu recognized by Constitution of India; and all are equal.
It’s up to to the Government to whichever languages it wants to print the passports; but it’s wrong to give unnecessary or silly logics while doing so.