More than 52 crore, or 43.63% of the total 121 crore Indians, speak Hindi. It is followed by Bengali and Marathi, with 8.03% and 6.86% speakers, respectively.
New Delhi: Although Hindi is the most widely spoken language in the country, almost six in every 10 people, or 56.37% of the citizens, do not identify it as their first language or mother tongue, shows the 2011 Census data on languages.
According to the data, more than 52 crore or 43.63% of the total of 121 crore Indians speak Hindi. It is followed by Bengali and Marathi, with 8.03% and 6.86% speakers, respectively. Telugu (6.7%) and Tamil (5.7%) are fourth and fifth-most spoken languages in the country.
The language debate was once again ignited on Saturday after Home Minister Amit Shah at an event in New Delhi marking ‘Hindi Diwas’ said “it was necessary to have a common language that becomes the mark of identity of the country. Today, if a language can keep the country united, it is the widely-spoken Hindi language.”
Shah said more people should converse in Hindi in order to fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel of ‘one nation, one language’.
The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution identifies 22 scheduled languages — Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
As per the Census 2011 data, 96.71% of Indians have one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue, while the remaining 3.29% account for the other languages (non-scheduled).Read more
Source web page :News 18