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After independence from British Rulers in 1947, India adopted Hindi as its national language. However, because of the British legacy, all the official business was conducted in English. English was also the language used by all big joint stock companies. Similarly the medium of instruction for all higher education was also in English. In view of all these issues it was decides to continue with English as the official language, and change to Hindi gradually.
But changeover to Hindi proved to be an elusive task. The two main hurdles in way of replacing English by Hindi were, existence by educated class and the officer class, who enjoyed some advantage over others because of their proficiency in English. Also there was opposition from people with native tongue other than Hindi. Tough Hindi was and continues to be the most widely spoken language in India, there are many people who speak other native languages. These people opposed Hindi on the ground that making Hindi an official language will put them at disadvantage as compared with Hindi speaking people.
Net result has been that very little progress has been made in making Hindi the official language. Though, for higher education in Hindi, there has been some advances in Hindi speaking states. But other states have opted to provide higher education in their respective regional language rather than Hindi.Further proportion of schools offering primary and secondary education in English Medium has increased rather than decreased.
In sum total English continues to be the main language for government work, organized business, and higher education. Also English is used widely, in addition to Hindi and regional language by people from higher strata of society. As a result you will find a wide percentage of Indian People who are multi-linguists.
This situation, definitely hurts national sentiments of the people, but in the wake of trend for globalization, people also see the benefit of having a large pool of people in India who can speak English. This has definitely helped Indians in general to do business globally. In addition, it has also given India an added advantage in software and business process outsourcing industry.
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