States and the Official Languages of India

India belongs to people of different origin and practice. The state and the official languages are the identification of its citizens. Languages play an important role in the diverse culture of India. All these conversations and written communication basically originate from the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages. Most states in India are named by the language used by its population.

After the formation of the Constitution, a special Official Language Act was enacted in 1963 after facing criticism and protest from other non-Hindi speaking states against the declaration of Hindi as the official language. As per a section in this Act, English was also considered as the secondary official language of India. Both Hindi and English were accepted in the usage of the Parliamentary procedures. Later, the Home Ministry formed the Department of Official Language for supervising the growth and usages of the official languages of the country.

The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution includes the following languages as the state and the official languages of India.

  1. Hindi

    Hindi is declared the official language in states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. It is spoken globally and a major portion of the country's population use it in their day to day interaction. It is written in Devanagari script. It has many dialects and accents that are geographically inspired. There are two groups defining this language. They are an Eastern Hindi group and Western Hindi groups. The former one is based on Awadhi dialect and the latter one use Braj Bhasha, Kanauji, Bundeli, Hindustani and Khari-boli.

  2. Assamese

    This is the official language of Assam, an eastern state in India. Assamese language has been in existence since the 13th century. It is the India-Aryan language that is formed from Magadh Apabhramsa. During this time when Prakrit language was holding its sphere in the central region of India, the eastern group that includes Bengal, Oriya and Assam picked up the dialect and transport it into a new language. Today, Assamese has words from taken from Marathi, Arabic, English, Gujrati, Portuguese, English. You can also find some words from the European languages as well.

  3. Bengali

    Bengali is officially accepted by the West Bengal State. There are more than 240 million people who speak this language. Besides India, it is largely used in Bangladesh as well. It has originated from the Indo-Aryan language and belong to the 1000-2000 AD period. Like all other languages, Bengali too has taken words from Sanskrit, Avahattha, Turkish, Arabic and Persian.

  4. Gujarati

    Gujarati community is living in India and other parts of the world which helped this language to transform to different places like the UK, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Fiji, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and South Africa. Like Assamese and Bengali, Gujrati too is an Indo-Aryan language. It is spoken by over 40 million people in India. It has its own independent script used for writing.

  5. Kannada

    Kannada is used in Karnataka. More than 60% population of this state speaks it. It is one form of the Dravidian language and is used by more than 32 million in India.

  6. Kashmiri

    Kashmiri is spoken in Jammu and Kashmir. Above 55% of the population make use of it in their daily routine. Despite such large number of population, it is still not the official language of the state. The official language in this state is Urdu. This Indo-Aryan language combines the Persio Arabic and Devanagari script for writing purposes. The various dialects used in this state are Bakawali, Kishtwari, Poguli, Raisi, Siraji of Doda, Siraji-Kashmiri, Zirak-Boli, Zayoli, etc.

  7. Konkani

    This regional language is used by the people residing in the coastal region of Konkan in Maharashtra. This Indo-Aryan language existing in the southwestern region is derived from the classical Sanskrit. It is spoken in three states that have coastal areas like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. Similar to Bengali and Assamese, this language is also developed from Souraseni Prakrit. It is also believed by some learned people that Bengali and Assamese are the invention of Konkani. However, others refute this claim and believe that the Aryans who settled in the southern region of Konkan started this language.

  1. Malayalam

    Malayalam is the official language of Kerala. This Dravidian language is one of the youngest and can be traced back to the 10th century. Like Kashmiri, this language too has several dialects. They are Malabari, South Kerala, NAgari-Malayalam, North Kerala, Central Keral, Namboodiri, Pulaya, Nasrani and Nayar and Kayavar.

  2. Manipuri

    Manipur is one of the seven sisters of the eastern state in India. This state uses Manipur or Meithei as its official language which is based on the Tibeto-Burman languages. This state official language belongs to the Kuki-Chin sub group and combines the Bengali-Assamese script in writing.

  3. Marathi

    Marathi is widely used in Maharashtra and is its official language. This India-Aryan language is spoken by more than 63 million people in India. It uses the Devanagari script for writing purposes and a has long history that belongs to the 1000 AD.

Other States and the Official languages of India that are included in the Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution are: Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.