ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Language, Growth and Intra-State Disparities

The article, ‘Linguistic Diversity and Disparate Regional Growth’ (August 16, 2008) made for disappointing reading. The central premise of the article linking economic growth with languages is not only fallacious, but can also be gravely misleading.

Is it really the case that the non-Hindi states are “progressing” rapidly because of the languages they speak, as the authors mention – or to put in other words, are the Hindi-speaking states backward because they speak Hindi? Would it not be more to the point to state that the economically laggard states just happen to be Hindispeaking? Plainly, economic development/ non-development has a lot more to do with political-institutional climate than with language, and if at all with cultural values, then more with non-linguistic cultural practices than with any specific language.

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