May I ask how long has this idea about the numerals been before the country ? No member could have the courage of coming before this Assembly, with a proposition about the acceptance of the Hindi language if that language had not already been more or less accepted by the people for years and years. It is on that basis that that clause in the Draft Constitution relating to language has been framed. But how long have people been discussing about these numerals ? Only for about two or three weeks,The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam (Madras : General) : I may inform the honourable Member that this question came up before us in the South in connection with the Hindi Prachar Sabha at least fifteen years ago and we decided that Hindi Prachar in the South should be conducted with international numerals.
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon : I accept Mr. Santhanam's statement as correct. I never knew about it. But neither Mr. Santhanam nor the Hindi Prachar Sabha of Madras ever brought up this question before the country
Shri Moturi Satyanarayana (Madras : General) : You yourself were there on the Hindi Prachar Sabha fifteen years back ?
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon: When I was in touch with the Hindi Prachar Sabha, it was the Nagari digits that were being used. I may give that information to my honourable Friend Mr. Satyanarayana whose connection with that Sabha, began long after mine. When I had something to do with that Sabha, when that Sabha was being guided from Allahabad all the work was being done through the Hindi numerals. It was at a later stage that he probably brought in the English numerals; and even today, I may remind him, some at least of the Hindi books that he has published have Nagari numerals. I have seen at least one of them.
Shri M. Satyanarayana: It was in 1927.
The Honourable Shri R. R. Diwakar: What about Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu who are using these numerals today ?
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tadon: When you are adopting Hindi as the language, adopt also its numerals. I ask you to consider whether this is the proper time, when the country is not prepared with any views on that matter, to force English numerals upon Hindi ? I have said so many times that I would not force Hindi upon any province, but by the Constitution you are practically forcing this script for all official purposes upon all those who do their work through the Nagari script. I ask you to stay your hand there. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that languages grow, that they are not born in a day. He has said that several times. (A voice-He is right). He is right. Languages grow. But the numerals grow also. (Interruption.) The numerals grow also, they have grown. (Interruption.) The numerals have grown along with the script. The script grows. like the language which uses it. The script is not born in a day. It has grown with all parts of it, the vowels, the consonants and the numerals. It is one artistic whole. You cannot patch something upon. the face of that whole. Today you say, "Take out the Nagari numerals." You might as well say-though you are not saying it today-"Take out the vowels, let the English vowels be used and let the consonants alone be Hindi". I say you would be creating a monstrosity.
The Honourable Shri N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar (Madras: General) : That is is a caricature.
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Des Tandon: My friend says that is a caricature. He sees the absurdity of taking away the vowels. So far as we are concerned, we also see the absurdity of taking away the numerals. It does nobody any good. You are taking away something from us which does not enrich you but makes us poor indeed.
Our numerals are an ancient heritage. It has sometimes been said that these English numerals are our numerals and the question has been put: why should we not take them back ? As if we had lost our numerals and we aregoing to re-possess them Nothing of the kind. The knowledge of these numerals
certainly went to Europe through Arabia from our country. We are all proud of that fact. There are many other matters in which Europe is indebted to us. But that does not mean that an object which has grown amongst us should be given up and we must bring back in their changed forms those things which originally went from here. They have modified their forms according to their needs and we have modified our forms in consonance with our genius. Circumstances and environments everywhere introduce changes. Changes have been made in our country also. Our numerals have grown as I said. They were written in a certain manner during Vedic times. Then changes came and for about sixteen centuries they have been written in the present style. Are we to give up now what has been used here for such a long time ? I say internationalism is no argument and it is not fair that our people should suddenly in this manner be asked to give up their own numerals.
The Honourable Shri R. R. Diwakar: We are using them in the South today.
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon: I would beg of Mr. Diwakar to be patient. He can have his chance afterwards.
It has been authoritatively said in regard to the Devanagari script including the numerals, that our system is the most perfect that exists in the world. shall quote to you one or two extracts, although I have many before me. Here is one from Prof Monier Williams
"And now a few words in explanation of the Deva-Nagari or Hindu system. This. although deficient in two important symbols, 'represented in the Roman by z and f,..
(which deficiency as you know, has been made up by means of dots).
"........ is on the whole, the most perfect and symmetrical of fall known alphabets. The Hindus hold that it came directly from the Gods-whence its name (i.e. Devanagari) and truly its wonderful adaptation to the symmetry of the sacred Sanskrit-seems almost to raise it above the level of human inventions."
The late Sir Isaac Pitman, the great English inventor of phonography said:
"If in the world we have any alphabets the most perfect. it is those Hindi ones."
I shall refrain from reading other extracts. Some friends suggested that the Roman script should be adopted. It is for them to think over the extracts which I have just read out. My view is that it is possible that when our country grows in strength the, European nations may themselves be drawn more and more to see the excellence of our alphabet. This question of romanising our language was raised in the 19th century also. Some of the savants of England wanted that the people here should be given education through the medium of the Roman script. There was a long controversy over it and at last it was decided by the British Government that the Roman script could not profitably be used in this country and that the Nagari script was the most suitable. It is too late in the day now to think of Romanising our language. I hope that question will not be pressed.
Then,. Sir, something was said about the adoption of Sanskrit. I bow to. those who love Sanskrit. I am one of them. I love Sanskrit. I think every Indian born in this country should learn Sanskrit. Sanskrit preserves our ancient heritage for us. But today it seems to me-if it could be adopted I would be ha* and I would vote for it--but it seems to me that it is not a practicable proposition that Sanskrit should be adopted as the official language.Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra: After fifteen years it will be all right, though it is not today.
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon: I do not think that today in our Constitution it will be Possible for us to say that Sanskrit should take the place of Hindi. I think the most practical view is to ad-opt Hindi as the language for official purposes.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: What is your amendment about numerals, Sir'
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon: Therefore my submission is that in this perfect Devanagari script which has come down to us from time immemorial we should have Hindi as the official language. It is not
right that all of a sudden, when the public have not been educated about it, when the subject has not been before them for a sufficiently long time, the Constituent Assembly should decide that Nagari numerals should be taken out of that script and the so-called international numerals or English numerals should take their place. There is some feeling among Members from South India about using the English numerals since they are using them in their languages, I am a man of peace. I do not desire to have any quarrel as far as possible.
My Friend Dr. S. P. Mookerjee made a kind of personal appeal to me I am grateful to him for it. I also wish that our language resolution could be passed. unanimously. With that object, although I feel strongly that Devanagari numerals should not be, inter-fared with in any manner, in order to meet the wishes of our friends from the South I have come forward with a formula. I hope that it will be possible for you to accept it. I say : let both Indian and international numerals be recognised for the purpose of the Devanagari script for fifteen years and let the President, that is the Government, decide from time to time as to where one set of numerals is to be used and where the other set is to be used. The Government work will for a long number of years be done in English. Some friends particularly Shri T. T. Krishnamachari, suggested to me that for statistics, for accounting and for banking, the international numerals should be allowed. I saw that they were keen about that. Therefore in one of the sub-clauses I have provided that so far as these matters on are concerned, during this whole 'period of fifteen years, only the English language should be used, so that the main purpose for which the international numerals are wanted will be served by the English language. employing the English numerals as a matter of course. I do not suppose any one desires that English numerals should be use for printing ordinary Hindi books. But even there I have left it to the Government. If Government desire that for any particular work English numerals may be used, they may do so. They may use Hindi numerals only when they think them necessary.
I appeal to you to accept the compromise and not to insist that for ever and for ever international numerals should be substituted, for the, Devanagari numerals. (Interruption.) I appeal to you not to pass that proposition here, because you will be then very hard on people who been using Hindi. Their minds are thoroughly unprepared for this kind of change. (Interruption.) After we have adopted the Devanagri as the official script and Hindi as the national language, it would be up to all of us to meet in Conventions. and decide what changes we should introduce in the Nagari character. Our system is perfect, but the shapes of some letters require a change. Also some new letters will have to be added, I submit it will be possible for all of us, after accepting the Nagari script as it is-today, and it will be necessary for the Government of India in particular, to hold conferences to consider what changes should be made in the script and in the numerals for the needs of the modem times. The, Prime Minister mentioned that for purposes of composing matter for the Press the internationalnumerals were more suitable. With all deference to him I say that lie is riot acquainted with the details of press work. The information given to me by press workers with whom I have come in contact is that it makes absolutely no difference at all whether they have to use Hindi or international numerals. The best composing work is done on monotype or linotype machines. In fact, I submit, our numerals are more artistic and more in keeping with the shapes of our letters. I appeal to you to accept the compromise in the spirit in which I have placed it before you. I ask you to save further bitterness. Otherwise, this thing cannot stop here. Do you think there would be no agitation over this matter ? This thing is bound to rankle in the hearts of those who have been using these numerals and
love them-whether they be Hindi-speaking, or Marathi-speaking or Gujarati-speaking. We are not meddling with your Tamil or Telugu scripts at all, but here you are meddling with our Nagari script.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi (Madras : General) : It. is only for official purposes.
The Honourable Shri Purushottam Das Tandon : I know it is only for official purposes of the Government of India. But once the Government of India begins this thing, it is bound to filter down and to spread as the Government is the centre of all activity. That is why we object to it. If you will kindly listen to me, I would request you in all humility to accept the compromise which I have placed before you and to adopt my amendments,.
The Honourable Maulana Abut Kalam Azad (United Provinces: Muslim): *[Mr. President I shall take some time of the House. I have come here to apprise you of my opinion about the language; also I would tell you the object with which I gave my advice to the Congress Party and the procedure adopted by the Drafting Committee, thereupon. I will place before you all these facts and through you will bring them to the notice of the country.
In this connection many questions came before us. The first question was as to how we could remove English from the position it has come to occupy in the Governmental machinery and in the sphere of education,-whether it should be set aside immediately or gradually. You will remember that two years ago I had expressed my opinion that we should wait at least for five years. In other words, English should remain in its place- in the universities and in the government offices for five years and that after this period a change in procedure be ushered in and during this interval we should try to bring our national language on such a footing that it can easily replace English.
My opinion that English should not be brushed aside immediately was generally appreciated, but the time limit fixed by me was acceptable only to a very small number of my friends. Particularly my friends from South and Bensal were of the opinion that a much longer period was required for that, and that for such an important change a period of five years will not be sufficient. I admit that experience of work and contemplation forced me to a similar conclusion as that of my friends. Now I feel that my estimate was not correct. In no way can we cover this distance in five or six years. I am in full agreement with the amendment of Shri Ayyangar that a period of at least fifteen years be fixed for it. You know very well that nobody can be more eager in seeing our national language reigning supreme instead of English.
* Translation of Hindustani Speech.Perhaps it would not be out of the place if I tell you that I am the first man who tried in the Assembly that Hindustani be heard from the Government benches instead of English. But considering the pros and cons of the matter I had to conic to this conclusion that the matter could not be brought to reality merely by sentiments and wishes. We must realise the difficulties of the situation and formulate conclusion accordingly.
Two great obstacles stand in our way. The first difficulty is that there is no national language as such which can immediately take the place of English. Time is needed to evolve it, brush it, and polish it. So far as the administration of the government offices and the imparting of higher education is concerned, none of our languages can all of a sudden claim the position of English. Though admission of this fact gives us heart-burning, we have to admit it with regret. During these one and a half centuries of the British rule, if our national language had been used in the administration and academic spheres then surely today our national language would have attained the same status with the other rich languages of the world, but unfortunately it was not so. The language of administration and instruction has been English with the result that today we are forced to carry on our state and private business through the medium of English. The
other obstacle is the non-existence of a common language in our country. If we try to bring immediately our national language in place of English, then, which can be that language which is read and written alike throughout the whole country ? No doubt the language of Northern India is widely spoken and understood : but, firstly, it is not spoken and written everywhere, and secondly, the South does not come under its domain. There you will come across only a very small section of population which can express itself in broken Hindi. We have got to admit that so far as language is concerned North and South are two different parts. The union of North and South has been made possible only through the medium of English. If today we give up English then this linguistic relationship will cease to exist.
Today, if we desire to replace English by our national language which would be the national as well as the Federal language, then there is no other way but to wait patiently and try to introduce instruction in the national language widespread, while keeping English for some time. In this we require the good will and co-operation of our brethren of the South more than of anybody else. Unless and until they lend us their hearty support. we cannot succeed in our mission. With full willingness they have asked for a period of fifteen years and it beloveds us to accept that with pleasure. If such an important problem as, that of a national language can be solved only within fifteen years than we should accept the bargain because it is very easily settled, and at the same time a very complex problem of the national life will be solved with ease.
In the life of a nation and a country a period of fifteen years is not long-nay it will not be more than fifteen days. To this some friends have raised this objection that this decision will have its repercussions on the provinces as well, though the fact is that some Provinces have already replaced English and some universities have decided that in the near future university education win be imparted through the medium of our national language. In this connection the names of two universities of the Central Provinces have been mentioned. I have no hesitation in saving that such a hasty decision will not benefit the object of having a national language. I am afraid that in this way the standard of education will suffer a set-back and it will not be in the interests of the academic capability of the students. The governments and the universities of the Provinces were aware of the fact that the Government of India are considering this matter and that a University Commission had been constituted which would consider this important matter in addition to other educational problems. It was necessary that they should have awaited the recommendations of theCommission and should have acted after due consideration. By acting divergently in the field of education we would not be serving the educational life of the country.
The Honourable Shri Ravi Shanker Shukla : I would like to inform you that this decision was taken by the University three years ago and the University Commission has been set up now.
The Honourable Maulana Abul Kalam Azad : That is right. They decided upon it three years ago, but we have to see whether this decision was expedient or not. I have no doubt that this decision does not fit in with what is expedient concerning our education and it is necessary to reconsider it. The Governmeat are in possession of the recommendations of the University Commission. Government will take an early opportunity to consider them.
I know that you will agree with me that in this connection the universities should not have different decisions. On the other hand, the country should act upon one uniform decision.
So far as education is concerned I am not of the opinion that we should wait for fifteen years. We can bring about this change earlier,' provided that we prepare ourselves on the right lines. But any such change which is brought about immediately will surely be a wrong step, and
it will put higher education in a topsy-turvey condition.
In this connection the question of courts has also come before us. It is my firm conviction that for fifteen years, English should be continued in the High Courts. If we replace English in haste, then legal tangles of various kinds will crop up. Over and above this, there would not be any common relationship or uniformity of language between the different courts of the provinces. This change should be ushered in only when a national language can be read and written in every part of the country and becomes mature enough for the expression of highly technical subjects. Surely for this work a period of fifteen years will not be too long.
Regarding language another question which confronts us is what should be four national language, what name should be given to it ?
So far as language in concerned, this has been admitted on all hands that the language spoken in Northern India can only be made the Lingua Franca, but it has got three names-Urdu, Hindi and Hindustani. Now, the point of dispute is as to what name should be given to it. Naturally, with different names are associated different forms and styles of the language; so in reality it is not a quarrel about the names but about the form or style. I want to give you a brief resume of the points of difference in these three names.
The general framework or the setup of the language spoken all over Northern India is one and the same, but in its literary style it has got two names-a style resplendent with Persian is called Urdu and a style leaning towards Sanskrit is known as Hindi. The term "Hindustani" has developed a wider connotation: it embraces all forms of the language spoken in Northern India. It includes 'Hindi' as well as 'Urdu' and even more than that. It includes each and every shade of the spoken language of the North. It does not exclude any. It covers all.
It was on my suggestion that, about a quarter of century ago, the All-India Congress Committee. when the question was before it, decided in favour ofHindustani. The object behind the decision was that in this language question we should not act with narrow-mindedness; rather we should try to extend its field. By adopting the name of "Hindustani" we had tried to do away with the differences that separated Urdu and Hindi, because when we try to speak in or write easy Hindi and easy Urdu then both becomes identical, and the distinction of Hindi and Urdu disappears. In the new framework of this easy vehicle of expression you can coin as many new words and new phrases as you please, there would be no obstacle. Besides, by adopting the name of Hindustani we leave untouched that vast and extensive field which the people of North India have created for their language. We do not put any check or obstacle upon them from above.
Think for a moment of the position in which people of this area find themselves today Only seventy or eighty years ago Urdu language was spoken and written by them. The movement for Hindi was started much later and a new literary style came into being which was known as Hindi. Now Urdu and Hindi are being used as two separate names for it. Even then, the language commonly spoken all over U.P., C.P., Bihar and Punjab is the same in shape and form. Those who have a liking for Sanskrit literature generally use words of Sanskrit origin and those who have got Persian education commonly use words of Persian origin. What the Congress had decided was that in Hindustani both these styles were included. They all speak Hindustani. If we want to develop a powerful, extensive and a literary language then we ought not to place any artificial obstacles in its way. We should let people speak the language they desire. After sometime a peculiar style would evolve by itself; words which are more natural and near to the rules of philology would come to stay in common use and uncommon words would be dropped out. Literary languages are not made to order by imposing artificial rules and checks. Languages are never made; they evolve. They are
never given a shape; they shape themselves. You cannot shut the mouths of people by artificial locks. It you do that, you Will fail. Your locks would drop down. The law of language is beyond your reach; you can legislate for every other thing but not for ordering its natural evolution. That takes its own course, and only through that course it would reach its culmination.
Anyway, by adopting the name of Hindustani, Congress had recognised that natural law according to which languages evolve. Congress only wanted to save it from artificial restrictions. Both Gandhiji and the Congress acted on this principle. He toured all over the country and everywhere he spoke in Hindustani. He did not belong to Delhi or Lucknow. He was brought up in Kathiawar. His Hindustani was neither literary Urdu nor literary Hindi, but an inter-mixture of both. In his vocabulary were many a words and phrases current in Bombay and Gujarat and he used them quite freely. Even them, the language he spoke was Hindustani, and through its medium his message did reach millions of Indians. If you look at the Congress you will see to what a great extent it has been influenced by him. Prior to his coming speeches only in English used to be made from the Congress platform, but since his arrival Hindustani came into vogue and upto this day speeches are made in Hindustani. But his Hindustani was neither the idiomatic Urdu of Delhi or Lucknow nor the Sanskritised Hindi of Banares. The language used by him was wider and more expansive. Any speaker could express himself freely in that language according to his own taste and learning and could make himself intelligible to thousands of his countrymen. Urdu-knowing people could speak in Urdu while Hindi knowing people could speak in Hindi. A speaker from Bombay would use Bombay-style Hindustani, while a Bengali speaker would speak in Hindustani with his own accent and style. All of them are covered by the wider term of 'Hindustani'. Hindustani has a place for all these styles.
It is necessary for us to maintain this extensive Character of the language, rather we should let it grow wider and richer. We should not try to keepit confined in any limited sphere. We have to replace English, which is a literary and extensive language, with a national language. That can only be done by making our own language rich and extensive rather than limiting its scope and extent, if you call it 'Urdu' then surely you narrow down its circle; likewise if you name it 'Hindi' you limit its extent, therefore by giving it the name of 'Hindustani' alone, you can widen its scope. It is the exact and right word which describes the real state of our language for the present.
For these reasons I have held this opinion for the last so many years that our national language should be called 'Hindustani'. I need not say that Gandhiji also held the same view upto the end. That was why he had started "Hindustani Pracharni Sabha", and had severed his connections from the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. Now, when in connection with this Constitution this question came up before the Congress Party, naturally I emphasised the same view and I had hoped that at least the older congressmen would not forsake their previous stand and would continue to adhere to the Gandhian principles; but I need not hide my own feelings from you when I say that I was greatly disappointed. I realized that with few exceptions all have retraced their steps.
As you are aware,in the party meeting this question was thrashed out for several days, but they could not arrive at any conclusion. The question of fixing a time-limit for the retention of English and enforcement of the now change was the focus of the greater part of these discussions. Several fresh resolutions relating to language were also introduced. One resolution was to retain the word "Hindi" in the Constitution with this interpretation that Hindi includes that style of language also which is commonly known as Urdu. The object was to create that expensive spirit in "Hindi" which is associated with the name of
"Hindustani". At last, the question was left to the Drafting Committee with the. request to prepare a fresh draft of this part for the consideration of the party in the light of all those resolutions which were moved during the discussions in the party meeting. Several new members were also added to the Drafting Committee. I was also one of the members.
I attended the first meeting of the Committee, but I felt that the' majority of members had a particular type of' pre-conceived motion and they could not agree to adopt "Hindustani" in place of "Hindi", nor were they prepared to accept any such interpretation which can widen the scope of "Hindi". In the circumstances I could not associate myself with this Committee. Therefore I resigned and severed my connection with the Committee.
After my resignation this question was raised in the Committee afresh and an effort was made to introduce breadth of vision in solving the problem to a certain extent. The amendment of Mr. Ayyangar which he had moved in the party meetings was a product of this effort.--It is the same amendment which is now before you for your consideration.
This amendment has introduced several alterations in the original Draft which are worthy of consideration :-
(1) So far the name of the language is concerned, the name given in the original draft, namely "Hindi" has been retained. Then again an effort has been-made to explain the characteristic of "Hindi" by adding an Article.and it has been emphasised that it includes "Hindustani" also.
(2)It has been emphasised that India has a "composite culture", and the national language of India should be the focus of this "composite culture."
(3)Regarding Urdu it has been made clear that it is one of the recognized languages.......... of the country,So far Urdu is concerned, all of a sudden the events had taken such a turn that in future it might have affected the rights of millions of people, but this amendment has removed that apprehension to a great extent. Although Urdu had spread throughout the length and breadth of Northern India, yet in point of fact, U.P. was its place of birth and growth. After the downfall of Delhi, Lucknow became the centre of its activities, and in the 18th and 19th centuries, it gave to this country a fully developed language. If according to the previous decision of the Congress, "Hindustani" in two scripts would have been accepted, then the question of Urdu would not have been taken separately; for in that case according to the commonly accepted concept. Urdu would have been a part and parcel of "Hindustani" and to be sure, eventually after mutual assimilation the language would have taken a definite shape; this was not done and "Hindi" was adopted in place of "Hindustani". In the circumstances, fact and fair play demanded that Urdu should have been given official recognition at least in its place of birth, namely, U.P. But it has not been done and "Hindi" in one script has been accepted as the official language.
Naturally the question arose whether Urdu will have any place in the Indian Union? True, if 'a language is spoken by millions of people in their day-to-day life, its life need not depend on the recognition or non-recognition of any Government, as long as the people themselves do not give it up by common consent. None can compel them to renounce it. Nevertheless it would have been inappropriate for the Democratic Constitution of the country not to acknowledge a language which is the common heritage of millions of Hindus and Muslims, and which is their mother-tongue. This amendment has made it abundantly clear that Urdu is also one of the recognized languages of the country and it will receive same treatment at the hands of the Government which all the recognized languages should receive. Perhaps I should also tell you that the interpretation of language given in this article was not included in the Constitution at first; it was placed under Directives. But later on it was incorporated in the Constitution as an irrevocable article. This alteration made the position of
Urdu more manifest and firm.
So far as the question of script is concerned, the decision of the Congress was to adopt both the scripts, namely, both Devanagari and Urdu scripts. There was objection against this decision on the ground that if acceptance of both the script involves the commitment of giving equal right to both, the scripts for the documents in the Government offices then it would create difficulties, for the reason that offices will have to work harder and that expenses would increase I had felt the full weight of this argument and had agreed to adopt Devanagari as the script for Government offices. At the same time I had emphasised that all the Government declarations, resolutions, communiques and other similar documents should be published in both the scripts and that Government offices and courts should accept applications and petitions in both the scripts. I had also emphasised that this proposal should be incorporated in the Constitution, but this was not accepted. True, the right of the people to submit petitions In the recognized languages of the Indian Union has been accepted.
I do not propose, because I do not think it necessary to conceal the impression which I have got during the discussions over this problem. I was totally disappointed to find out that from one end to the other, narrow-mindedness reigned supreme. Do you know what is narrow-mindedness ? Narrow-mindedness means pettiness and density of mind and refusal to accept higher, nobler and purer thoughts. I would like to tell you that with such small minds we cannot aspire to be a great nation in the world. It was this narrow-mindedness which was the product of a later period, which had buried the glory and advancement of ancient India in the darkness of _gloom; and the danger is thatonce again we ire succumbing to this tendency. of all the arguments employed against "Hindustani", greatest emphasis has been laid on the point that if "Hindustani" is accepted then Urdu also will have to be accommodated. But I would like to tell you that by accommodating Urdu, the heavens will not come down. After all Urdu is one of the Indian Languages. It was born and bred and brought tip in India and it is the mother-tongue of millions of Hindus and Muslims of this country. Even today this is the language which serves the purpose of a medium of expression between different provinces and it is the only means of inter-provincial relations. Why should we allow our minds to be prejudiced to this extent against one of the languages of our country ? Why should we allow ourselves to be swept away by the currents of our narrow-mindedness to such a great distance?
My friends would pardon me if I say that I have witnessed an exhibition of this narrow-mindedness during the debates on numerals. One may differ from those who want international numerals in place of Devanagari numerals, but I fail to understand why it should create bitter passions and why it should be opposed so vehemently. After all it is a small matter. Again and again it has been emphasised that why should we borrow anything from another country when we have our own. But this is altogether baseless. These numerals, which are in use among all European nations today, are really a gift from India, which we had given to the world centuries ago. If we are going to adopt them today we are taking back our own thing.
These Indian numerals first reached Arabia, then from Arabia they reached Europe. This is the reason why in Europe they were known as Arabic numerals, though they originated from India. This style of the numerals is the greatest scientific invention of India, which she is rightly entitled to be proud of, and today the whole world recognises it, The story of how these numerals had reached Arabia has been preserved in the pages of history.
In the eighth century A.D. during the reign of the second Abbaside Caliph, Al Mansoor a party of the Indian Vedic physicians had reached Baghdad and bad got admittance at the court of Al Mansoor. A certain physician of this party was a specialist
in astronomy and lie had Brahmaguptas' book "Siddhanta" with him, Al Mansoor, having learnt this, ordered an Arab philosopher, Ibraheem Algazari, to translate the "Siddhanta" into Arabic with the help of the Indian scholar. It is said that the Arabs learnt about the Indian numerals in connection with this translation, and having seen its overwhelming advantage, they at once adopted it in Arabic. Like Latin, in Arabic also there were no specific symbols for counting figures. Every number and figure was expressed in words. In cases of abbreviations various letters were made use of, which were given certain numerals values. At that time Indian numerals put before them a very easy way of counting. They became famous as Arabic numerals. And after reaching Europe they took that form in which we find them in International numerals at present.
I have emphasised that these numerals are India's own It. is not a foreign thing. But suppose it is an European invention. But if in accounting and arithmetic these are more clear, more striking and more useful., then why should we not adopt them without any hesitation ? Why should their use become objectionable for us, on the ground that they belong to some other country? Surely you cannot deny the fact that the form of these numerals is more clear and, more striking than the form of the Devanagari numerals. These can be identified more easily. In their aggregate form they look more prominent, more clear and more beautiful. Everybody would admit that in arithmetic and accounting these numerals are more useful than other numerals .Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor (United Provinces : General) : Since when has this thing been experienced ?
The Honourable Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: This peculiarity of these numerals has attained this fame since the beginning of the popularity of these numerals. I shall tell you about the other oriental countries. Almost in all the oriental countries these numerals have been adopted. Even those people who do not know European languages have learnt these numerals and use them. However, so far as the question of numerals is concerned, I totally agree with the amendment of Mr. Ayyangar and I am glad that this essential reform is being worked upon.
So far as the question of language is concerned I have expressed my views clearly. I am sorry that the problem of language has not been settled in the way in which it ought to have been settled. I and some of my colleagues tried to solve this problem, but at last we realized that in the present circumstances no improvement can be made on Mr. Ayyangar's formula.
Today you will decide that the national language of the Indian Union will be "Hindi". You may decide that. There is nothing substantial in the name of "Hindi". The real problem is the question of the characteristic, of the language. We wanted to keep it in its real form by calling it "Hindustani" Your majority did not agree to it. But it is still in the hands of our countrymen not to allow the shape of Hindi to be deformed and instead of making it an artificial language let it remain an easy and intelligible medium of expression. Let us hope that the present atmosphere of narrow-mindedness which is the residue of the past misfortune will not last long and very soon such an environment will be created in which people freeing themselves from all sorts of sentiments would see the problem of language in its real and true perspective.
Mr. President, I have already taken much time of the House and I shall not burden the attention of my friends any longer.
I have finished.
Dr. Raghu Vira (C. P. & Berar : General) : Mr. President, so far the consideration of the language question has been by persons who have been predominently carried away by political considerations. Heat has been brought into problems which ought to have been considered with perfect coolness, and here agreement or disagreement would not, or should not have mattered in the least. My predecessor, the Honourable Maulana Saheb, has brought to our notice a very important item of nomenclature,
namely, Hindi and Hindustani. Ordinarily these names may not have much different Significance attached to them. But in the history of the last one century and a half the two words Hindi and Hindustani-have come to connote very different things. Unfortunately they have been taken up by opposing political parties in the country and given different connotations. They have made an effort to change the connotation of the word Hindustani and there now seem to be a great difference of opinion about Hindi and Urdu also.
The difference was exactly brought out by a European Philologist. Mr. Grouse. and this is what he said long ago about Urdu and there is no difference of opinion on it. "Urdu" is a Turkish word and we are familiar with the word in another form, the English word "horde" as in "military hordes". The word Urdu is clear in its connotation. I shall not be mincing matters when I say that the protagonists of Urdu have a responsibility on them and I hope they will not shirk it. It lies in the manner in which they started the bifurcation in the 19th century.In the beginning the difference between Hindi and Urdu literature was not great. If I had time at my disposal I would give you quotations and authorities from the 19th century. The writers of Urdu in the 19th century made it a law or an article of faith that not a single literary word shall be derived from Indian sources. While they took the grammar and construction of the language from India, the literary inspiration and other factors were taken from Arabic and Persian. In the 19th century it was felt that the loss which people had sustained from the disappearance of. Persian had to be made up by rearing up, Urdu. There are quotations without number from European writers in the 19th century who have made it clear beyond a shadow of doubt that the loss of Persian was a loss to the Muslim conquerors, a loss to the language of the Emperors. So that loss had to be made up. It was said that the streets of' Lucknow should be transformed into the streets of Ispahan in Persia.
So, the tradition was developed in the 19th century whereby Urdu became the repository of Persian and Arabic words and culture. There was a reaction in the same 19th century and hence developed the Hindi literature which had for its basis and structure the same language which was the basis of Urdu but whose literary tradition was native to the soil. This difference wept on developing and developing until today we find two literatures, which though they had the same basis have developed differently.
Then there is the third word. Hindustani. This word has been interpreted differently by different writers. As a student of languages I have-.myself tried to come to some conclusion whether we could or could not use the word Hindustani in one and one sense only. I have found it impossible. It is not a case where the Assembly can give a definite meaning to the word which has been used in different senses. In the Indian army the word Hindustani has been used widely, more widely than the word Urdu. Hundreds of books have been published. A few days ago I collected a number of books which bore the title Hindustani. I went to the bazar in Delhi and collected all the books I could and here I have one of the very important books published in Germany by Germans. It is "Hindustani Conversation--Grammar." From the beginning to the end, it is Urdu and nothing but Urdu. There are thousands and thousands of passages where Hindustani means nothing but Urdu. There are other passages though rare but important where the word Hindustani is used as a generic term to include both Hindi and Urdu. But one thing remains clear and absolutely clear, that that language which we call literary Hindi cannot be included in-'the word Hindustani. I am neither pleading for Hindi nor Urdu but I am just putting to you the problem of nomenclature. If we take the case to an impartial tribunal composed of judges of the high courts, put the word Hindustani before them and all the evidence pertaining to it, the tribunal can come to only one
conclusion and there can be no second, that Hindustani is Urdu. Nobody can deny that literary or high flown Urdu is Arabicised and Persianised. On the other hand Hindustani can include what we know as simple Hindi, the Hindi of the villages, what is called Khari boli. Literary Hindi, I submit, cannot be included in the word Hindustani. This is the difficulty before us but what we decide is a different matter. When the word Hindustani is capable of being interpreted differently by different people it is always better to use a clear word. I have great respect for the Honourable Maulana Saheb and I have to submit as a humble student of literature if you call Hindi a narrow language that is not the word to be used. That is not the limiting adjective. at any rate, that you can use for Hindi. Hindi is very widely based, more widely based than Urdu. Urdu is based at the most on the vernacular. in the words of Grierson, which is spoken in between Delhi and Meerut. He has given the figure as 52 lakhs for the vernacular Hindustani.Literary Hindi has for its basis the speeches from the borders of Bengal to the borders or Punjab, from the borders of Nepal to the borders of Gujerat. When you come to examinations in the Universities you will find literature of old Rajputana language, Dingal, the literature of Avadhi and other different dialects such as Braj and Bhojpuri whose literatures are included in literary Hindi. If you study literature for M.A. in Urdu you will never have literature of any one of the dialects of India to be studied. Why? Because Urdu does not concern itself with the dialects of India.
Firstly, Hindi is a widely based language and a national language should be broad-based. Secondly, when we come to Urdu there is a preponderance of Arabic and Persian words. My first school language was Urdu and my second language was Persian and I had occasion to have a peep Arabic also. As a student of languages it is not possible for me to hate any particular language and so the question of hatred does not arise. It is only through love that you can appreciate the beauty of a language.
I have here an Urdu magazine published by the Government of India bearing the title "Bisate Alam". It is a beautiful title in Arabic and nobody can quarrel with the content of the word. It is a literary word and denotes much. But does it denote anything for the Indian population ? If you look inside, the first line reads
"Bainul Quvami sayasiyat va kaifiyat ke hamil musavvar mahnama
Bisate Alam ka salnama ;"
This is the head line of this magazine. Whereas it could be perfectly intelligible in Persia or Arabia, it is not going to be intelligible in any part of India. I have been listening with great care to the fine speech of the Maulana Saheb. I have taken down certain words which if they were replaced by Indian words would be better understood. For instance, he used a word 'riyazi'. The friend sitting next to me said , "What does that mean ?" I told him it means "ganitam". Whether it is Tamil, Oriya, Assamese, Bengali or Gujarati, we have a certain common vocabulary, a common ideology and common life-values. An effort was made in the past and I hope that effort will be made in the future also, for simplifying Urdu; but when we simplify Urdu and call it Hindustani, even then we cannot include in it phraseology which will be used in other languages. When considering the Hindi and Urdu languages and their relative claims, it was contended by several front rank leaders of high name and prestige that we must have a bridge language which will bring the two languages nearer. But today the problem is not to bridge the gulf between Hindi and Urdu but to find a language which will bridge the gulf between Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Maharathi, Telugu, Tamil Assamese, Oriya, Punjabi--all the languages of India. We have to find a language which will serve the needs not only of Hindi and Urdu but also of all the languages in the North and in the South............
An Honourable Member It is already one o'clock, Sir. The speaker may continue after
Mr. President: I know the time. Will the honourable Member take a long time to conclude ?
Dr. Raghu Vira : At least half an hour.
Mr. President : I cannot allow so much. I will give a few minutes more in the afternoon.It has been suggested to me that the House should meet at 5 o'clock instead of 4 o'clock. So we shall meet at 5 o'clock.
The Assembly then adjourned till Five of the Clock in the afternoon.The Assembly re-assembled at Five of the Clock in the afternoon. Mr' President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Mr. President, may I, with your permission, move that the debate on this language question be closed and that Dr. Raghu Vira, if he wants to say a few words more and finish his speech, may be permitted to do so before the closure is put to the House ?
Mr. President : If Dr. Raghu Vira considers it worthwhile to speak, very well, he may have two minutes.
Dr. Raghu Vira : Mr. President, I join the other Members of the House in expressing our great satisfaction that a satisfactory arrangement has been reached between the different view-points on the question of the numerals. Now discussion may be conducted in a friendly manner. This is a matter in which I should congratulate the House. As there is no controversy now, the discussion may he closed.
Mr. President: Closure has been moved. I take it that the House accepts it.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani: Sir, you have accepted the motion for closure. I beg to withdraw my amendment of which I gave notice, for the reason that I am thoroughly disgusted with the attitude adopted by our Prime Minister yesterday and the policy of appeasement adopted by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad today. I also give up my right to make any speech in this matter. I shall simply oppose the whole thing.
Mr. President,': I am concerned only with the fact of the withdrawal and not with the reasons therefore,
Now I would like to know in what form I should put the question before the House. We have got something like 300 amendments.
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta (C. P. & Berar: General): Sir, Shri Gopalaswami Ayyangar is going to accept some of the amendments. Those amendments should then be placed before the House, All the other amendments may be treated as withdrawn.
Shri K. M. Munshi (Bombay: General) : Mr. President, may I request you to adjourn the House for about half an hour ? I am very glad to state to you that, on this very difficult question of language, most of us have come almost to a unanimous decision. One or two small points have been left outstanding in respect of which an amendment is being drafted. That will take a few minutes. If the House has no objection and if you permit it, Sir, we may adjourn for about half an hour.
Mr. President : I have no objection to the House adjourning for a short while.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal : Muslim) : I would require notice if any, new amendment is going to be brought forward.
Mr. President : There is no amendment that is going to be moved at this stage. I think they are considering which of the amendments to accept. That will take a little time.Shri Mahavir Tyagi (United Provinces : General) : Let the Drafting Committee be put in charge of all the amendments.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru (United Provinces : General) : I believe that a closure motion was moved only three or four minutes ago and that you accepted it. Unless the closure motion is withdrawn with the permission of the House, I do not see how any new amendment can be allowed to be moved either by Mr. Munshi or by anybody else.
Mr. President : Dr. Kunzru has raised a point of order.
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: May I say a word about that point of order ? There are so many amendments on 'the Order Paper. The Mover of the main motion Shri Gopalaswami Ayyangar can pick and choose and accept or reject any of them. After the closure he has the right to speak. Therefore he can well speak and, while speaking, accept any of the amendments. closure does not mean that all
the amendments moved are lost or thrown out. If he makes some verbal alterations here and there, that can be permitted by the vote of the House.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : May I say a few words, Sir?
Mr. President: Yes, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad may speak. In the meantime I expect Shri Gopalaswami Ayyangar and Shri K. M. Munshi to get the thing ready. They can do this while we are discussing the point of order.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Mr. President, Sir....
The Honourable Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla: My proposal is that Pandit Balkrishna Sharma may withdraw his closure motion.
Mr. President: Let me hear Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Mr. President, after strenuous work we have come to a practically unanimous resolution. But we have an important constitutional question to remember. We are setting an example on. constitutional principles to the country, not only to this country but to other countries. A pomp of order has been raised by Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru that, after the closure motion was accepted, no new amendments could be proposed. Mr. Gupta did not reply to this point, but merely said that after a closure motion the mover of the main Motion will have a right of reply, and he may accept some of the amendments. I do not object to it. But the point raised by Pandit Kunzru is that after a closure motion has been accepted, no new amendment could be moved unless the closure motion is withdrawn. There is no precedent or rule or practice to permit the withdrawal of a closure motion accepted by the House. These are the difficulties.
Then I should submit that, although I am glad that a compromise has been reached and settlement come to amicably, still there are some unimportant minorities, numerical minorities here and there that have a right to consider the proposed new amendments and express their opinion. Therefore whatever amendment is going to be moved, some reasonable notice should be given to the Members to consider them. If an amendment has to be moved, nothing will be lost by postponing a decision on it. We may consider the matter tomorrow and come to a decision.
Mr. President: I think probably those who have arrived at some sort of agreed solution of the problem will take just a little time to put the thing in shape not necessarily by moving fresh amendments but by picking and choosing from amongst the amendments which are already on the order paper, which to accept and which not to accept. And if they do that, probably no question of the point of order which has been raised will arise, but I do not know how circumstances will develop. For the present, I think it is best to give them a littletime so that they might Consider the whole question with reference to the various amendments which have been moved to see to what extent these amendments can be accepted and the agreed formula can be fitted with the amendments which are already on the order paper. If the House has no objection, I would like....
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: The whole thing may be finished today.
The Honourable Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar : May I say a word?
The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam : Meanwhile, are you taking up the point of order ?
Mr. President : I have not said anything on the point of order, and I have not yet adjourned the House. I am still in the process of consultation and I am entitled to hear Shri Gopalaswami Ayyangar.
The Honourable Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar: I might explain in four or five sentences. As regards the changes that should be made in the draft which I moved the other day, we have, I think, by negotiations outside the House agreed upon the substance of these changes. They are not many. I believe there are only four or five changes to be made. Two of them are merely verbral. The other two or three are matters which involve a little substance. As a matter of fact we have a rough draft on it, and if you give us some twenty or thirty minutes, we shall bring that draft before the House in a form which it would be in a position to accept. I would suggest that we
meet about half an hour later.
Honourable Members: We can meet at 6 o'clock.
Pandit Govind Malaviya (United Provinces: General) : We are the Constituent Assembly. We make our own rules and anything, which you think is going to help us in fulfilling the task for which we are here, and which has the approval of the House as a whole, should certainly be possible and permissible. I submit we should not stick to mere legalistic interpretations of Rules and we should adjourn the House for half an hour which has been requested.
The Honourable Shri K. Santhanam : In the meanwhile, let the discussion go on.
Mr. President: No, no. I am not giving any decision or ruling on the point of order that has been raised. I think we should adjourn the House for, say, about three quarters of an hour. We meet again at 6 o'clock.
The Assembly then adjourned till Six P.m.The Assembly re-assembled at Six P.m. Mr. President (the Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
Shri K. M. Munsshi : Mr. President, Sir, I understand closure has been moved and accepted. In view of what I state, Sir, I submit that the debate be reopened in order to enable me to submit amendments which I propose to place before the, House. I therefore move, Sir, that the debate be re-opened.
Mr. President : The motion which has been placed before the. House by Mr. Munshi is that the closure which has been accepted be nullified and the debate be re-opened. I take it that, under the Rules if a certain percentage of Members indicate their wish to re-open any resolution or decision, that it can be re-opened. I do not think there is any difficulty on that ground. I would like to know if the House wants to re-open the question.
Honourable Member : Yes.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : Mr. President, Sir, some now amendments have just now been put into my hands. I have not even had the time to read them. I only desire that opportunities be given to us so that the new amendments may be examined and the effect of these new amendments be carefully considered. We shall have to consider as to what of our own amendments we shall press and what amendments we shall withdraw. (Interruption). In order to give us this opportunity, I think some little time should be given. There is Rule 13(o) .... .......... (Interruption).
Shri C. Subramaniam (Madras: General) : Sir, the motion is that the closure be re-opend. We are not considering any amendments now. If the honourable Member wants to submit anything about this, he may proceed. The honourable Member is making submissions about some amendments which are not before the House.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : I submit that the amendments have just now been put into my hands. I have not had the time......
Mr. President : We are at the present moment on the question of re-opening of the closure.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: With regard to that, I have not the least objection.
Mr. President: At the present moment, we are only concerned with that.
Those who are in favour of re-opening the question of closure will say Aye.
The motion was adopted.
Shri K. M. Munshi : Sir, I move:
"That for clause (1) of article 301A. the following be substituted:-
(1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
The form of numeraja to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall international form of Indian numerals."
Shri Mahavir Tyagi : What is the meaning of (1) when there is no. (2) ?Shri K. M. Munshi : One, sentence has been split into two, and the word 'and' has been omitted, It is a purely verbal one.
Pandit Balkrishna Sharma: Mr. Tyagi's point is, there is only one sub-clause and why should it be 1 (1).
Shri K. M. Munshi : There is a sub-paragaph I (1) because there are other sub-paras (2) and (3) in the original article. Not this (2) but there are other (2) and (3).
Mr. President: I should like to see all the amendments.
Shri K. M. Munshi: I have the second amendment, Sir.
"That for clause (3) of article 301A, the following be substituted:--
anything contained in this article, Parliament may after the said period of fifteen years by law provide for the use of-
(a) the English language, or....... .. "
Some Honourable Members : It should be 'and'.
Shri K. M. Munshi: The word 'or' is proper; it means 'and'. However the Drafting Committee will consider it carefully. We did as well as we could within the forty five minutes. We feel 'or' is correct. If we find that 'or' is incorrect, we shall change it.
Shri H. V. Kamath (C.P. & Berar : General): May I suggest, Sir. . . . . .
Mr. President: He is on his legs. Why not lot him finish?
Shri K. M. Munshi :
(b) the Devanagari form of numerals, for such purposes as may be specified in such law.
My next amendment is-
"That Article 301F be renumbered as clause (1) of article 301F. and to the said clause as so renumbered the following clause be added :-
"(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of this article shall prevent a State from prescribing, with the consent of the President, the use of the Hindi language or any other language recognised for official purposes in the State for proceedings in the High Court of the State other than judgements, decrees and orders.
In continuation of this there is another clause.
"(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of this article, when the Legislature of a State has prescribed the use of any language other than English for Bills, Acts, Ordinances and orders having the force of law and rules referred to in the said sub-clause, a translation of the same in English certified by the Governor of the State shall be published and the same shall be deemed to be the authoritative text in English under this article."
Honourable Members: What about 'Or ruler'?
Shri K. M. Munshi : There are many articles in which this omission will be found and it will be corrected. If you like I will put it here as 'Governor or Ruler of the State'. This corresponds to amendments tabled by the, Honourable Mr. G. S. Gupta, Nos. 164 to 167.
Then the next one is,-
'in the schedule substitute 'Kannada' for 'Kanarese' and after 'Punjabi' and 'Sanskrit'
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: Is there no amendment with regard to the language of Bills and Acts passed by State Legislatures ?
Shri K. M. Munshi: No more amendments,
Shri Mahavir Tyagi : Then it is not the (rue interpretation of the agreement
Shri H. V. Kamath : Mr. President, may I suggest a verbal change.Mr. Naziruddin Ahamd : On a point of Order. The whole question is that we should be given some breathing time to consider the amendments. This is an ordinary fairness to an individual Member, It may be that the overwhelming majority of Members have come to an agreement but that does not conclude the matter. Every single member must have an opportunity.
Mr. President : I think the whole question has been under discussion and we, have discussed it from all points of view threadbare. These amendments look like amendments because in the numerous amendments, of which we have received notice, no one amendment occurs in exactly the same words. I do not know if any of these amendments actually touches the substance of so many of the other amendments which have been moved and placed before the House. So, the only question is whether we shall have this formality of going through a fresh consideration of these amendments or we shall accept the amendments as they are being placed representing the substance of so many of the other amendments which are on the paper and representing the sense, of a number of Members who have agreed amongst themselves. If it were- a new question which was going to be raised altogether a new, probably there will be some justification for notice and also for anything else. Therefore under rule 38(0) which says-
"If notice of a Proposed amendment has not been given two clear days before the day on which the Constitution or the Bill, as the case may be, is to be considered, any Member may object to the moving of the amendment, and such objection shall prevail,
unless the President in his discretion allows the amendment to be moved",
I think I could not think of any other case which would be more fit for the use of the discretion of the President in favour of these amendments.
Shri H. V. Kamath: While commending this motion wholeheartedly to the acceptance of the House, may I suggest a purely verbal change ?
Mr. President : You bad better suggest it to the Mover. I can wait for a minute or two.
Shri H. V. Kamath : Thank you, Sir. I shall do so.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United Provinces : General) : Can I speak on this amendment ?
Mr. President: Certainly.
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: Mr. President, there can be no debate be-cause you have said that the amendments or points moved by Mr. Munshi have been covered by the amendments that have been tabled already. I can give the numbers in which those amendments can be covered. If we reopen all the debate, then I must humbly submit that he has no right to speak as a debate on this motion. If he has any verbal amendment to suggest, that is a different matter.
An Honourable Member: Some of us are not in possession of the third sheet.
Mr. President: You will be getting it. In the mean time Mr. Saksena wants to speak on this. Let him speak.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : Sir, this question ....
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad : Sir, we have not yet got a copy of the 4th amendment.
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena : Sir, this question of the national language has been the subject of hot controversy for the last two days, and these amendmentshave been suggested by Mr. Munshi as a sort of a compromise, and it supposes, that the Members of the House are agreed upon these amendments. Sir, with profound regret I have come here to lodge my protest and say that I do not agree with them and I do not accept these so called compromise amendments. I have myself moved my amendment, No. 70, but I am prepared to support as a compromise the amendment moved by Sri Purushottam Das Tandon. These amendments which are now moved are supposed to be a compromise but they are not an improvement at all and they do not in any meet the point of view urged by Tandonji or myself. In fact, the, fundamental point on which the supporters of Hindi have been insisting has been that the English numerals shall not be a permanent feature of our national language. But the amendment now proposed will make these so-called international numerals which are really only plain and simple English numerals, a permanent feature of one language by this Constitution, and that is a position which I cannot accept. All that is conceded in the compromise is this, that after fifteen years. Parliament may prescribe Hindi numerals for such purposes as may be specified by law. 'That means the Devanagari numerals can be used for some purposes, but the main numerals shall be the English numerals, and by accepting this amendment, we shall be committing this House and the future generations of our country to accepting the English numerals as a permanent feature of our language by this Constitution Act, and I shall not accept that under any circumstances. It is not without reason that I have taken up this attitude. I regard this draft of Mr. Gopalaswami as a fraud on the supporters of Hindi and a fraud on the Constitution itself. Really this draft perpetuates English for many, many years to come as Mr. Gopalaswami himself confessed. The Father of the Nation had warned the Nation of this danger which he had scented as early as Sept. 21, 1947, when he wrote his editorial in the Harijan of that date.
There are other amendments also which Tandonji moved and which also I had supported as a compromise. But as no real compromise has been possible, I will press my own amendment which runs as follow,, :-
"That in amendment No. 65 above. for the proposed new Part XIV-A. the following be substituted:--
CHAPTER I-LANGUAGE OF THE UNION
301A. (1) The State language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. (2)Notwithstanding anything contained in
clause (1) of this article the English language may continue to be used for official purposes of the Union during the period of transition which shall not exceed 5 years. provided that the State language will be progressively utilised until it replaces English completely at the end of the transitional period of five years.
301B. (1) Within three months of the commencement of this Constitution, there shall be constituted a committee consisting of thirty members. of whom twenty shall be members of the House of the People and ten shall he members of the Council of States chosen respectively by the members of the House of the people and the members of the Council of States in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
(2)It shall be the duty of the Committee to make recommendation to the President as to the ways and means which should be adopted as to the progressive use of the Hindi language for all the official purposes of the Union and the replacement of the English language by the Hindi language at the end of the transitional period of five years.
(3) The Committee shall submit its report within a period of six months from the date of its appointment.
(4) Within a period of three months from the date of submission of its report by the committee, the President shall cause every recommendation made by the Committee together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken or to be' taken thereon to be laid before each House of Parliament. (5) (a) When any member of the House of the People or the Council of States cannot adequately express himself in the language in use for the time being in the House of the People or in the Council of States, the Speaker of the House of the people or the Chairman of the Council of States may permit him to address the House in his mother tongue.
(b) The Chairman of the Council of States or the Speaker of the House of the People may, whenever he thinks fit, make arrangements for making available in the Council of States or the House of the People as the case may be a summary in Hindi and in the language in use in the House for the time being of the speech delivered by a member in any other language and such summary shall be included in the record of the proceedings of the House in which the speech has been delivered.
CHAPTER II REGIONAL LANGUAGES
301C. (1) A State may by law about Hindi or the language or languages in use in the State as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State.
(2) (a) When any member of a State Legislature cannot adequately express himself in the language in use for the time being in either House of the State Legislature, the Chairman of the Legislative Council or the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly may permit him to address the House in his mother tongue.
(b) The Chairman of the Legislative Council or the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly may, whenever he thinks fit, make arrangements for making available, in the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly as the case may be, a summary in Hindi or in the language in use in either House for the time being of the speech delivered by a member in any other language, and such summary shall be included in the record of the proceedings of the House in which the speech has been delivered.
301D. (1) (a) The language for the time being authorised for use in the Union for official purposes shall be the official language for communication between a State and the Union;
(b) if the language authorised for use in the Union is also the official language of any State, the official language of the Union shall be the official language for communication between that State and another State :
Provided that if two or more States agree that the Hindi language shall be the official language for communication between such States, that language may be used for such communication.
(2) The authoritative texts-
(i) of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved in the House or
either House of the Legislature of a State,
(ii) of all Acts passed by the Legislature of a State and of all Ordinances promulgated by a Governor or a Ruler, as the case may be,
(iii) of all orders, rules, regulations and bylaws issued under this Constitution or under any law made by the Legislature of a State.
shall be in the official language of the State :
Provided that if the State official language is not Hindi, they shall be accompanied by an authoritative text in Hindi :
Provided also that during the transition period of five years from the commencement of the Constitution, if the State official language is not English, they shall also, be accompanied by an authoritative text in English.
301E. Where on a demand being made in that behalf the President is satisfied that a substantial proportion of the population of a State, but not less than 20 per cent. desires the use of any language spoken by them to be recognised by that State, he may direct that such language shall be recognised throughout that State or any part thereof for such purpose as he may specify.
301G. Every person shall be entitled to submit a re-presentation for the redress of anY grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a State in any of the language used in the Union or in the State, as the case may be.
301H. It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of Hindi and to develop the language so as to serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating the forms, style and expressions used in the other languages of India and drawing wherever necessary or desirable for its vocabulary primarily on Sanskrit
301-I. It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the use, of the Devanagari script throughout the territory of India.
301-J. It shall also be the duty of the Union to promote the study of Sanskrit throughout the territory of 'India as it is the source of most of the other languages in India."'
Shri Brajeshwar Prasad (Bihar : General) : Sir, I would like to say a few words.
Mr. President : It is not necessary.
The Honourable Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta: Sir, closure.
Mr. Mohamed Ismail (Madras: Muslim) Mr. President, I want to speak on these amendments.
Shri Jagat Narain Lal (Bihar: (General) Sir, I want to say a few words on these amendments which have been moved just now and in the framing of which I had a hand.
Mr. President : Is it necessary ? If we start a discussion, I do not know how long it will go on. If there is any Member who is opposed to the amendments, I would give him a chance. I would not like Members who are in favour of the amendments to take the time of the House. I have given a chance to Mr. Saksena because I understood he was opposed to these amendments. If you wish to oppose them. I shall allow you to speak.
Shri Jagat Narain Lal : I do not want to oppose it.
Mr. President : Then please leave it alone
Shri Mahavir Tyagi: Sir......
Mr. President : You want to oppose it ?
Shri Mahavir Tyagi : I want to move an amendment to this amendment.