22 recognised languages
The country's Constitution legally recognises 22 languages, divided into two groups: the Indo-Aryan languages (spoken by 74% of the Indian population, mainly in the north) and Dravidian (spoken by the rest of the population and of the majority in the south). It is that which makes India one of the countries with the greatest linguistic diversity. There are also approximately 1600 minor languages and dialects.
Despite the fact that it is the official language, Hindi is only spoken by 20% of the population. English, largely used all over the country, is the mother tongue of over 10 million Indians. It is equally recognised as an official language, although in 1964 the government tried to eliminate it from the constitution. Violent protests broke out throughout the country, so the proposal was withdrawn. Today, English is the secondary official language, but the government have set up a program aimed at increasing the use of Hindi.
However, it is likely that English will continue to have an important place in the country, notably to facilitate its development and strengthen its standing in the world