India contains a variety of languages, with 78.05% of Indians speaking those that belong to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. This is followed by Dravidian languages comprising 19.64% of the population. The remaining 2.31% speak languages belonging to a variety of other language families, including Tai-Kadai and Austroasiatic.
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Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in India and serves as somewhat of a lingua franca throughout its northern and central parts. Bengali is the 2nd most spoken, having a majority of its speakers in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India.
In recent times, there has been turmoil over Hindi being forced upon parts of India that do not natively speak it, such as Tamil Nadu.
The total number of languages spoken in India is widely disputed, however, the general consensus is that there are 780, putting India in 2nd place for most languages spoken within a single country, after Papua New Guinea.
India has two official languages: Hindi (Devanagari script) and English. With that being said, this does not mean Hindi is India’s national language, as the Indian constitution does not permit any language such status.
The Indian constitution refers to 22 languages by name, which are called scheduled languages. These are the languages that have been given official acknowledgment and support.