Democratic Politics

Chapter : 2. Federalism

How is Federalism Practiced

How is Federalism Practiced
The real success of federalism in India can be attributed to the nature of democratic politics in our country. This ensured that the spirit of federalism, respect for diversity and desire for living together become a shared ideal in our country.
Linguistic States :
Regarding federalism the first and a major test for democratic politics in our country was the creation of linguistic states. In 1947, the boundaries of several old states of India were changed to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same state.
The formation of linguistic states has made the country more united and has also made the administration easier.
Language Policy :
A second test for Indian federation is the language policy. In our constitution Hindi is identified as the official language. There are also 21 languages recognised as scheduled language by the constitution. A candidate in an examination conducted for the central government position may opt to take the examination in any of these languages. Much of the government work takes place in the official language of the concerned states.
Controversy over Hindi & English :
1. According to the Constitution the use of English for official purposes was to stop in 1965.
2. Many non Hindi speaking states demanded that the use of English should continue. e.g. Tamil Nadu.
3. So the central government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes.
4. Promotion of Hindi continues to be the official policy of the government of India but it does not mean that the central government can impose Hindi on a state where people speak a different language.

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