Chapter

Changing Modes of Discourses

B.L. Shankar and Valerian Rodrigues

in The Indian Parliament

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780198067726
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067726.003.0005
Changing Modes of Discourses

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What should be the language of the nation? Is national identity coextensive with linguistic identity? Apart from such weighty concerns as the nature of India's national identity and democracy, these questions were closely bound with representation. The overwhelming mode of communication in the Constituent Assembly and in the early years in Parliament was English. While there was some consensus on Hindi as the national language, it became exclusive, elitist, and narrow. Over the years, given the changing social composition of the Parliament, many Parliamentarians were not able to communicate effectively either in English or Hindi. The assertion of multiple identities and the context of liberalization brought Hindi and English side by side with regional languages on to the public domain in a sort of relationship unthinkable in the 1950s.

Keywords: regional languages; linguistic competence; English; Hindi; national identity; democracy

Chapter.  17169 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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