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Fact Check: A slew of misinformation in Kangana Ranaut's recent statement to Brute India

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In an interview with Brute India, Kangana Ranaut extended her support for Ajay Devgn's statement on Hindi being India's national language. Ranaut's statements were found to be full of false information and misrepresentation of the Indian constitution.

On May 4, Brute India released a video which featured Kangana Ranaut's statement on the row over Hindi being the national language of India, particularly in the context of the recent Twitter spat between Ajay Devgn and Kichcha Sudeepa.

In her statement, Kangana recognizes the diversity of languages in India but also puts emphasis on the need for a common thread to connect all Indians. At around 1 minute 5 seconds, Ranaut then states that Hindi is the national language of India according to the Constitution.
She also opines that the national language of India should be Sanskrit. She then states that Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi and other languages have been derived from Sanskrit itself. She equates the "denial" of Hindi to the denial of the constitution and the "Government at Delhi" itself. At 3:14, she once again states that "Hindi is the national language in the Constitution." Finally, she defends a similar statement given by Ajay Devgn.

Fact Check

Some factual errors were found in Kangana Ranaut's statement. According to the Constitution of India, there is no national language in India. As per Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, Hindi and English are to be considered official languages of the Union, Devnagari the official script. This means that official documents and official proceedings can be carried out in Hindi or English. The article also stated that unless the Parliament decided otherwise, English would cease to be used for official purposes 15 years after the constitution came into effect. The prospect was an alarming one to the non-Hindi speaking population, especially the Dravidian-speaking states. So, the Official Languages Act, of 1963 was passed by the Parliament and English continued to be used for Official purposes ever since.

Article 345 also states that states have the Legislature of a state has the liberty to adopt any one or more languages used in the state or Hindi as the official language of the state. If such a language is not adopted then English is to be used as the Official Language of that state.

Article 346 also provides for States to communicate with other states and the Centre in an agreed-upon language, or Hindi if so desired. Article 348 states that English is to be used by Supreme Court, High Court and for Acts, Bills etc. The Governor, with permission from the President, can authorize High Courts to use a regional language or Hindi if the need be.

So, in each case, it is clear that Hindi has been provided as a common provision to all Legislative entities of the country, but has not been forced anywhere, or given the status of National Language.

The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution recognizes twenty-two official languages as of now.

Furthermore, Kangana's statement that Kannada and Tamil came from Sanskrit was also factually incorrect. Tamil belongs to a family of languages known as the Dravidian languages. These languages are spoken in South India and Sri Lanka. Tamil was derived from Proto-Dravidian, a neolithic Proto-language. Kannada is also a Dravidian language but has Sanskrit influences. Other Dravidian Languages include Telegu, Malayalam and others. An article published by The Hindu in 2018 cites research which attempts to study the spread of the Dravidian languages.

In conclusion, Hindi is not the national language of India as Kangana Ranaut stated. Her claim that Tamil and Kannada were derived from Sanskrit is also factually wrong.

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