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Official languages of Puducherry

The Pondicherry Official Language Act, 1965, states under the heading "Official language of the Union territory" that Tamil is the language to be used for all or any official purposes in the Union Territory, while Malayalam and Telugu may be used in Mahé and Yanam respectively. The Act also stipulates that the English may be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union territory. However, documents from the Government of India for the Union Territory also contain French text, making French an additional, albeit unofficial language of Pondicherry.

1956 Treaty of Cession

French was the official language of Puducherry under the Treaty of Cession 1956. French was also the official language of the Éstablissements français dans l'Inde (French India) and it remained as de jure official language of Pondicherry U.T by the Article XXVIII of Traité de Cession which states that,

  • Le français restera langue officielle des Éstablissements aussi longtemps que les répresentants élus de la population n'auront pas pris une décision différente
    - The French language shall remain the official language of the Establishments so long as the elected representatives of the people shall not decide otherwise

As of today, still the official gazette of Puducherry is published with French;[1] albeit, with a marginal use.[citation needed]

Pondicherry Official Language Act, 1965

After independence, the new official languages got recognized by The Pondicherry Official Language Act, 1965 (Act No. 3 of 1965) which makes no mention of French (but also not officially denying it [2]) establishes that "the Tamil language shall [...] be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union Territory. It states that Provided that the Administrator may by like Notification, direct that in the case of Mahe area, the Malayalam language, and in the case of Yanam area, the Telugu language may be used for such official purposes and subject to such conditions as may be specified in such notification". Finally, it states that "Notwithstanding anything contained in section 3, and from the commencement of this Act, the English language may be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union Territory".[3]

During the early twentieth century, Tamil gained equal status alongside the existing French language. After the merger with India, Telugu and Malayalam also obtained the same status although with some restrictions. Though the status of each languages varies with respect to each district, when communicating in between districts of different languages, generally English is used for convenience.[4][5] The three official languages are:[6]

  1. Tamil: Language used by the union territory government, especially used when communicating within and between the Tamil majority districts of (Pondicherry and Karaikal) along with issuing official decrees.
  2. Telugu: Used when communicating within Telugu district Yanam.
  3. Malayalam: Used when communicating within Malayalam district Mahé.

Demographics

As of 2001, number of people speaking in each official languages are,

  • Tamil: 220,749 (In Pondicherry and Karikal Districts)
  • Telugu: 31,362 (In Yanam District only)
  • Malayalam: 36,823 (In Mahe District only)
  • French: Above 10,000

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-10-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2015-06-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "History (Pondicherry)". District Courts of Pondicherry. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  6. ^ "English to continue as link language in Puducherry: Court". The Times of India. 14 September 2014. Retrieved June 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links


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