How many languages in India?
When you think of the Indian people as a whole, it comes as a surprise to know that they speak many different languages depending on the part of the country they are from. India is a large country and the federal system of government gives every region the freedom to choose its system of communication. There are 22 official languages in India. It may appear to be a large number if you compare with other nations but this has been narrowed down from the 1652 mother tongues spoken in this region. Some of these languages have been as a result of direct influence from neighboring countries.
The numerous number of language groups in India reflects on its diverse history spanning into thousands of years back. While colonization saw India unified under various empires over the last couple of thousand years ago, there was still fragmentation that was happening at the basic level of interaction. This is why even in present India, language is a major part of the various kingdoms that existed. When the colony of India attained its independence from the British, it is the leaders of the time who chose Hindi and English to be the official languages. The reason why Hindi was selected was for purposes of regional integration and communication amongst the people. It is not clear why the Hindi language was selected but up to today there is strong opposition from people who feel that other languages would have been selected.
English is one of the two languages used by the central government and it is therefore popular among the local Indian population. In the world business review as concerns call center business in 2003, India was termed as a favorite destination for people looking to outsource their call center functions. The reason for this is because India has a strong education system that used English as the language of study. For non-native English speakers, the Indian people rate very highly in English literacy surveys. When we speak of medical, legal and technical studies in India, we refer to an education system that is superior to others in the world. Having English as the teaching language for these courses, opens up the country to many foreign students in search of an education.
According to a recent census report, close to 60% of the entire Indian population speak other languages other than the government accepted Hindi and English. It is however important to note that the number of local languages in use continues to diminish.