Is Hindi India’s National Or Official language? Know The Difference

A recent Twitter banter between Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Kiccha Sudeep has grabbed people’s attention and started a new debate about whether Hindi is India’s national language. Many would say yes, while many others would disagree.

The Twitter Banter 

It all started when Kiccha Sudeep reportedly responded to a comment that referred to KGF Chapter 2’s success as a Pan India movie. He said, “Everyone says that a Kannada film was made on a pan-India level but a small correction is that Hindi is not a national language anymore.”


In a very rare case, Ajay Devgn responded and questioned the Kannada actor why all his films were dubbed in Hindi if it was not the national language and wrote that Hindi was and will always be the national language.

After his statement, many celebrities and politicians bashed the Runway 34 actor. Ex-Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said, “Hindi was never and will never be our National Language. It is the duty of every Indian to respect the linguistic diversity of our Country. Each language has its own rich history for its people to be proud of. I am proud to be a Kannadiga!!”

So is Hindi our national language?

Since the beginning, India never had a national language. Even though the majority of northern and western states speak Hindi, it is not the national language of the country. The national language means the language that is spoken and written all across the country on all platforms (Government or Private). In some older texts, while drafting the Constitution, it has been found that Hindi was declared the national language but since only 40% of the Indian population spoke this language, its national language status was not written in the Constitution.


The Constitution of India contains a list of 22 languages. Previously, in 1950, the Constitution listed 14 languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. However, the list was expanded thrice which led to the inclusion of Sindhi, then Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali, and then four more languages, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili, and Dogri, totaling it to 22 scheduled languages.

The difference between national and official language

The national language is used for political, cultural, and social functions. On the other side, the official language is the language that is used for government business, like in the national court, parliament, or business purposes.

Hindi language would be used by the Central Government as per Article 343 when communicating with the states of the Hindi Belt. English is the Associate official language and the language to be used while communicating with the states. So as per the Constitution of India, Hindi and English are the official languages and not National languages.


In 2010, a Gujarat court found an opinion about India’s national language. It said, “Normally, in India, the majority of the people have assumed Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to indicate that any condition has been made or any order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.”

Also, Article 351, a directive order, says that it is the government’s duty to promote the spread of Hindi. The only ambition of this is to make a way to express India’s mixed culture.