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Brief Study of Languages specified in Schedule 8 of Indian Constitution

Section A


India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic &Republic with a parliamentary system of government; assuring its citizens of justice, equality and liberty, and endeavors to promote fraternity among them. The constitution of India was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly on November 26, 1949 and was inaugurated on January26, 1950.The words “socialist” and “secular” were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment (mini constitution). India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on26 January each year as Republic Day.

As all of us know, India has a completely great and wide culture, and an extended records as well. For all of these items and the customs that had been maintained over the years, nowadays the Indian Constitution acknowledges 22, so-called, countrywide languages. All those within the Eighth Schedule of the constitution, which incorporate two official languages. One have to be there for the union, i.e. one is compulsorily English and any other from the 22 recognised languages or compulsorily Hindi.

What is Constitution of India?

The constitution of India is the superb regulation of India. It lays down the framework defining essential political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and responsibilities of government institutions, and units out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the responsibilities of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments. Besides the Hindi version, there may be an official English translation. DR. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is broadly referred to as the father of the Indian Constitution.

Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution

In Indian Constitution, we've overall 12 schedules; each schedule deals with exclusive topics like "State and Territory‟, "Salary‟ etc. So, the eighth Schedule deals with various languages. At present eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution includes a listing of twenty-two languages (at the beginning 14 languages). If new language observed and need to be brought in schedule 8th of constitution, the government will amend the existing act and add to the Constitution of India. At the time the constitution was passed, inclusion on this listing supposed to means that language was entitled to representation at the Official Language Commission, and that the language could be one of the bases that might be drawn upon to enhance Hindi, the official language of the Parliament of India.

Section B

List of schedule Languages:

The VIII schedule of the constitution of India offers with the official languages and language policies of India. It defines and delimits the fame of Hindi and different Indian languages. As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages:

  1. Assamese

  2. Bengali

  3. Bodo

  4. Dogri

  5. Gujarati

  6. Hindi

  7. Kannada

  8. Kashmiri

  9. Konkani

  10. Maithili

  11. Malayalam

  12. Meitei (Manipuri)

  13. Marathi

  14. Nepali

  15. Odia

  16. Punjabi

  17. Sanskrit

  18. Santhali

  19. Sindhi

  20. Tamil

  21. Telugu

  22. Urdu

Out of 22 Languages,10 languages belong to the Indo-Aryan people, four languages belong to the Dravidians and Manipuri belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family.

Official status of Languages in India

In article343, the chapter on language of the union says “Official language of the union will be Hindi in Devnagri Script. The kinds of numerals will be the global shape of the Indian Numerals.

Hindi is the most spoken language in India, approximately around forty percentage of Indians speak Hindi. And no different language is spoken by Indians greater than 10% of the populace of India. English, broadly utilized in commercial enterprise and politics, become retained for reputable use for the benefit of non-Hindi speakers, specifically in Tamil Nādu and West Bengal. The Eighth Schedule to the Indian constitution lists 22 languages that the Government of India has the duty to develop. Neither the Constitution of India, nor any Indian regulation recognizes any language as the national language of the country.

The Legal framework in India governing using languages for reliable motive presently consists of the Constitution, the Official Languages Act, 1963, Official Languages Rules, 1976, and other state laws, in addition to regulations and guidelines made through the significant authorities and the states. Hindi became the official language of the union with impact from January 26, 1965 as provided in the official language act 1963. In official language act 1967 it is mentioned that English will be used as a medium of communication between centre and state when state has not adopted Hindi as their official Language.

Details of all Schedule languages of India are as follows:

This section represents all the languages which belongs to Indo-Aryan people in VIII Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

  1. Indo-Aryan Language Family

  2. Assamese:

It is an Indo-Aryan language and the official language of Assam. More than 57% of the populace of Assamese speaks in Assamese language. This language has evolved as a literary language from the thirteenth century.


It is one of the main Indo-Aryan language and is the respectable language of West Bengal. It is one of the popular languages of India. Bengali emerged as a separate language around 1000 A.D.


It is one of the Indo-aryan family Language, and the respectable language of Gujarat. It began out as an impartial language around 1200 A.D. It's one of the maximum advanced Indian language.


Hindi is the largest member of Indo-Aryan people and is the legitimate language of the authorities of India, which is written in Devnagri script. This language is initially spoken in Delhi, UP district and greater or much less throughout India. It is a fantastic literary language.


This language is the member of Indo-Aryan group and it's also the official language of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir literature was first traced in 1200A.D. This Language is written in Perso-Arabic script.

  1. Konkani:

This language is a member of Indo-Aryan family and is the professional language of Goa. In this language, the alphabet includes forty seven characters (14 vowels and 33 consonants). This language is written in Sanskrit style.

  1. Marathi:

This language is a member of Indo-Aryan family and is the official language of Maharashtra. Its literary career started out in thirteenth century.


This language is the branch member of Indo-Aryan group and is the professional language of state Orissa. It's literary career commenced within the 14th century.


This Language is the member of Indo-Aryan family and is the native language of Punjab State. It's literary career began somewhere in 15th century. Form of this language is Gurumukhi Script.


It is the classical language of India and is likewise one of the oldest language of the world. Classical Sanskrit covers the duration among 5000 B.C. and a thousand A.D.


It is one of the branch of the Indo-Aryan people. Sindhi makes use of Perso-Arabic script in Pakistan and Devnagri script in India.


This language belongs to family of Indo-Aryan and it's far the official language of Jammu and Kashmir. It is written in Perso-Arabic Script. Urdu and Hindi proceeded from the equal source. It is used by Muslim people in India.

Dravidian Language Family


It is a member language of Dravidian family and is the official language of the Kannada State.


This Langauge is one of the member of Dravidian Family and is the official language of Kerela state.


It is oldest language of Dravidian Community and is the official language of Tamil Nadu state.


It is the biggest member of Dravidian Community is the language of Andhra Pradesh State.

Tibeto-Burman Language Family


It is the member of Tibeto-Burman community, this language is used in Manipur state.


It is a member of Tibeto-Burman family and official language of Nepal.

There are other four languages which were added in VIIIth Schedule.

  1. Bodo:

Bodo language, belongs to the Tibeto-Burman department of Sino-Tibetan languages having numerous dialects. Bodo is spoken within the north eastern Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya and in Bangladesh. It is associated with Dimasa,Tripura, and Lalunga languages, and it's far written in Latin, Devanagari, and Bengali scripts.


Maithili is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Nepal and northerly India through 34.7 million population as of 2000, of which 2.8 million had been in Nepal. It is written in the Devanagari script. Maithili was written in Mithilakshar in the past.


Dogri is a member of Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 2 million people in Jammu Kashmir region and Pakistan, mainly within the Jammu location of Jammu and Kashmir, however additionally in northern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, different components of Indian occupied Kashmir.


Santhali is a language within the Munda subfamily of Austroasiatic languages, associated with Mundari. It is spoken by 6.2 million people in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, despite the fact that maximum of its speakers stay in India, within the states of Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal.

Languages used by the Judiciary

According to Indian Constitution, Article 348 clause 1, says that each High Court shall observe English as the language of the courtroom and each proceeding, be it written or oral, must be in English. However, the Governor has been empowered under Clause 2 to claim any other language as the language of courtroom as each State has a distinctive language and judicial complaints should be held in a way that everybody understands, even the litigants and not only Advocates and judges.

The controversy of Imposition of Hindi as one Nation Language

This subject matter isn't new and has been there for over pretty some decades. It may be visible that because of the language war, variations are taking place among the people and consequently the Government of India need to impose Hindi. But, there was enormous protest for it. Many people of local states, specifically of South India, oppose this move. This is because they want their Mother Tongue to become national Language.

This matter has numerous observations. While the state of South India are unwilling to put into effect the usage of Hindi as national Language, there also are a few states in western India in which people do understand the Hindi, however they dont want to accept it fully. In states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, people still emphasize on their language, but they understand Hindi. Most of them suppose it's far less difficult for them to talk once they go to different states or tourists go to their state.


The Constitution of India has bilingual method for professional use of language for the Government of India which is utilization of Hindi written in the Devanagari script, in addition to English. Hindi and English discover ordinary use for crucial professional functions inclusive of parliamentary proceedings, judiciary, communications among the Centre and States. States inside India have the freedom and powers to specify their very own professional language(s) through regulation and consequently there are 22 formally identified languages in India at present.

Still, making Hindi, the national language may be an injustice to the every recognised languages. Today, the authorities has made such provisions in order that significance to all languages may be given. Yet, the problem to encompass other languages as recognised languages within the constitution is continued.


  1. The Constitution of India by Chaturvedi (2007)

  2. India Constitution by MP Jain, 8th Edition




  6. Bhardwaj, Supra note 3

-Aniket Singh


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