- As per the 2011 census, 43.63 percent of Indians speak Hindi as their mother tongue.
- Bengali, with 8.03 percent speakers, is second in the list, followed by Marathi at 3rd with 6.86 percent speakers, Telugu at 4th with 6.7 percent speakers and Tamil at 5th with 5.7 percent speakers.
- In all, 13 of the 22 scheduled languages were reported as the mother tongue by at least 1 percent of the population. E
- Except for Sanskrit, each of the 21 scheduled languages was reported as the mother tongue by at least 10 lakh people.
- Sanskrit is the only language that is spoken by a set of around 25000 people.
Growth of Hindi language speakers in South India
The growing movement of people from north to south has led to greater presence of Hindi in the five southern states. In Tamil Nadu, the proportion of Hindi speakers nearly doubled from 2001 to 2011.
However, in some cases, this growing migration from North to South resulted in agitation such as in Bengaluru, Karnataka; the government was forced to remove Hindi signages from the city metro.
Decline in tribal languages speakers
The lesser-known tribal languages spoken in remote corners of India have shown a decline, as per the findings of the 2011 Language Census. These include the Sema language of the Naga tribe, the Monpa language of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland’s Phom, Odisha’s Jatapu, Himachal Pradesh’s Lahauli and Bhumij of Eastern India.
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