SPECIAL OFFICER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES (Art. 350B)
SPECIAL OFFICER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES (Art. 350B)
- A linguistic minority is a group of people whose mother tongue is different from that of the majority in the state or part of a state. Thus, the linguistic minorities are determined on a state-wise basis.
- Originally, the Constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities.
- States Reorganisation Commission (1953–55) made a recommendation in this regard.
- The Seventh Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 inserted a new Article 350-B in Part XVII of the Constitution
|NEED FOR A SPECIAL LINGUISTIC OFFICER|
- In a diverse country like India, there are also discriminations with respect to the language spoken. Every state in India has a significant portion of people of other languages. Protection of these people of minority language is a constitutional obligation of the government. At the same time, it is also the responsibility of the government to develop Hindi as the lingua franca of the nation.
- Thus Art-29, 30 of the Indian Constitution aims to protect the rights of the minority linguistic groups. There exist few other directives like the state have the authority to choose their regional language as the official document of the state, the Hindi speaking states need not communicate in the English language and centre should is expected to complement the discussion in English as well.
|SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE DIRECTIVES:|
- The cultural diversity of the nation is enriched.
- The federalism is respected as the states have autonomy over choosing their official language.
- Communication in regional language helps with administrative efficiency within the state functioning.
Issues arising of them:
- The centre has to ensure the provision of complementary linguistic communication along with English in the regional language of the state.
- The state is meant to work for the promoting and protecting the linguistic diversity.
|There should be a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities. He is to be appointed by the President of India.|
|It would be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.|
|He would report to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct. The President should place all such reports before each House of Parliament and send to the governments of the states concerned|
|The Constitution does not specify the qualifications, tenure, salaries and allowances, service conditions and procedure for removal of the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities|
- To provide equal opportunities to the linguistic minorities.
- To spread awareness amongst the linguistic minorities about the safeguards available to them.
- To ensure effective implementation of the safeguards provided for the linguistic minorities.
- To handle the representations for redress of grievances related to the safeguards for linguistic minorities
|COMMISSIONER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES|
- Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities was created in 1957. He is designated as the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities.
- Headquarter at Allahabad(Uttar Pradesh)
- Regional offices at Belgaum (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Kolkata (West Bengal).
- The Commissioner is assisted at headquarters by Deputy Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner.
- The Commissioner falls under the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
- To investigate and monitor matters related to linguistic minorities
- To present the President the reports on the status of implementation of the Constitutional and the nationally agreed safeguards for the linguistic minorities
- To monitor the implementation of safeguards through questionnaires, visits, conferences, seminars, meetings, review mechanism, etc.
- Takes up all the matters pertaining to the grievances arising out of the non-implementation of the Constitutional and Nationally Agreed Scheme of Safeguards provided to linguistic minorities
|MINORITY EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS|
Recently, the Supreme Court held that the state has the rights to introduce a regulatory regime in the national interest to provide minority educational institutions with well-qualified teachers so that they can achieve excellence in education.
- The judgment held that theregulatory law should be a balance of the dual objectives of ensuring the standard of excellence as well as preserving the right of minorities to establish and administer their educational institutions.
- For this, the court broadly divided education into two categories:
- Secular education.
- Education “directly aimed at or dealing with preservation and protection of the heritage, culture, script and special characteristics of a religious or a linguistic minority.”
- When it comes to education related to minorities, the court advocated “maximum latitude”to be given to the management to appoint teachers.
- Teachers who believe in the religious ideology or in the special characteristics of the concerned minority would alone be able to imbibe in the students admitted in such educational institutions, what the minorities would like to preserve, profess and propagate.
- However, secular minority institutions should focus on imparting education by availing the best possible teachers.
- Article 30 of the Indian Constitution: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
- (1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
- (1A)In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause.
- (2) The state shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
|ONE NATION, ONE LANGUAGE|
- Last year (2019) on the occasion of Hindi Divas, the Union Minister of Home Affairs held that if one language can do the work of uniting the country, then it is the most spoken language, Hindi.
- The remark was made in the context of preserving India’s ancient culture and English being an imposed colonial legacy.
- This has revived the debate of imposition of Hindi under the name of One nation One language.
|NEED FOR A COMMON LANGUAGE|
- Influence of Foreign Language: As per the Indian Home Ministry, there is a need for common language as there is a huge influence of English on the citizens of India.
- Impact on Indian Linguistic Culture: Due to the influence of foreign languages, some of the Indian languages have been losing their inherent culture of talking common tongue.
- Making Unique Identity: As per the statements, it is important to have a language of the whole country which should become the identity of India globally.
|THREE LANGUAGE FORMULA|
- Introduced by the first National Education Policy, the three-language formula stated that state governments should adopt and implement a study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking states, and of Hindi along with the regional language and English in the non-Hindi speaking states.
- The draft policy recommended that this three-language formula be continued and flexibility in the implementation of the formula should be provided.
- On promotion of Hindi, the NPE 1968 said every effort should be made to promote the language and that “in developing Hindi as the link language, due care should be taken to ensure that it will serve, as provided for in Article 351 of the Constitution, as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.
- The establishment, in non-Hindi States, of colleges and other institutions of higher education which use Hindi as the medium of education should be encouraged.
- Incidentally, the NPE 1986 made no change in the 1968 policy on the three-language formula and the promotion of Hindi and repeated it verbatim.
|PROS AND CONS|
- Common Identity for India: As India is the country of different languages, one common language would reflect the identity of India in the world.
- Unity among the people of India: Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India, the common Hindi language will unite people from different parts of the country.
- Glory in the multilingual nation: The people of this nation of different states are sometimes not able to communicate with each other, just because of the diversity in languages. Adopting a common national language helps them communicate with other linguistic groups.
- National Language: Indians can’t accept a foreign language as a national language. As Hindi has already been accepted as the Official language, imposition can provide its national status.
- Hindi Imperialism: Many of the critics believed that imposition of one common language for India as an imposition of Hindi imperialism for others Non-Hindi speaking
- Against Diversity of this country: As India is a diverse country with many languages, the imposition of Hindi as a common language will break the beauty of diversity in languages.