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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the constitutional politics of official language status in India. It gives an overview of the debates in the Indian Constituent Assembly over issues such as the official language of the Central Government and the Indian Constitution’s distinction between the language of parliamentary deliberations and the language of legislation. It considers the disaggregation of official language status into different linguistic states within the context of the relationship between federalism and language. It also discusses the implications of linguistic federalism for linguistic minorities in India and the legal controversy regarding the extent to which Article 30(1) of the Indian Constitution grants linguistic minorities the right to exclude instruction in the regional language.

Keywords: Basic Structure doctrine, Central Government, constitutional politics, federalism, India, Indian Constitution, linguistic minorities, linguistic states, official language, regional language

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