India Has Arrived on the World Stage – The Power of Multilingualism in the Digital Age

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The Power of Multilingualism in the Digital Age

As of the 75th anniversary of Indian Republic Day, we are preparing to commemorate this special occasion by displaying our country’s rich cultural heritage and military strength. Going back in time, our constitution came into effect on January 26th, 1950, and our powerful history continues to be written to this day. 

In 1950, India’s GDP was 30.6 billion U.S. dollars. Fast forward to 2024, India’s current GDP is 3.73 trillion U.S. dollars. It is the 5th largest economy in the world and just 2 days ago we pushed past Hong Kong as the 4th largest stock market globally. One factor that makes us No. 1 is our rich cultural heritage. The starting point of any discussion regarding India’s surge to become a global superpower is our multilingualism. In today’s interconnected digital world, language plays a vital role in business growth. From Punjabi in the north to Kannada in the south. From Marathi in the west to Odia in the east, all languages are equally important and we should be able to communicate in English and any other Indian language in the same breath and with same respect. 

Preserving India’s Multiculturalism Through Multilingualism 

India’s economic ascension has made Indian languages indispensable in global business. When the constitution came into effect, only 14 languages were included. In 1967, India added Sindhi as an official language. In 1992, Manipuri, Konkani, and Nepali were added. Finally, in 2024, all 22 official languages came into effect with the addition of Maithili, Santhali, Dogri, and Bodo. These languages do not just represent our vast markets to the world but also consumer behaviour, cultural insights, and local nuances that can be leveraged for business expansion. Local languages have been the key driver of business success in India and it’s time the world recognizes the language-first customers.

In the world’s top 10 most spoken languages, India is the only country with 3 official Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, and Urdu. India is placed second in the world with the largest number of languages in any country. In 2002, India launched the campaign of ‘Incredible India’. If it was launched today, it would be titled, ‘Inevitable India’ because we have finally made a grand entry on the global stage. The multilingual identity of a nation of 1.4 billion beating hearts has played a huge role in driving this success. Our multilingual citizens are crucial in shaping global cultural, technological, and economic trends. For example, India has the greatest number of users on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. We have been leaving our multilingual footprint all over the internet. We are making our voices heard and an interconnected world is hearing. 

Indian Republic Turns 75: From Today To Tomorrow

Our 75th Republic Day has arrived and the role of languages has become more important than ever. 75 years ago, globalization was an idea, now it has become a reality. In the wake of globalization, Indian languages need to rise above to connect Indian business to the global audience and attract global business to this country. Today as the world witnesses India’s rich cultural heritage and progress marching from Vijaya Chowk to Kartavya Path, they will also see our multilingual might as a force to be reckoned with. 

The India of today will indeed be the world’s growth engine and Indian languages will have a major hand in powering the world economy for decades to come. So while we sit at home and watch the parade and enjoy the holiday, just remember every one of us, from different parts of the country, speaking different languages, has made the Indian Republic turn 75 today. Happy Republic Day from Reverie to each and every one of you.

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