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His plea may have been rejected by the Gujarat High Court but agriculturist Suresh Kachchadia believes he has managed to put the spotlight on an important issue: Isn’t Hindi the national language of the country?

Kachchadia, 40, had last year filed a suit in the high court seeking directions to the central and state governments to make it mandatory for manufacturers of packaged commodities to print the price and other related details in Hindi. But the petition was rejected, bringing out that Hindi, though accepted throughout the country, did not enjoy the official status of a national language.

Surat-based Kachchadia is unfazed that the verdict has gone against him and is keen to knock on the doors of the apex court.

“It is now an important issue and needs to be taken to its logical end,” Kachchadia, who is of farmer stock, told IANS.

“I felt strongly on the subject and so had decided to take the matter up in the high court,” says Kachchadia, who completed his masters degree in agriculture in 1996 and made a small beginning by starting his own plant nursery in Surat.

“I am not against English, but most of the time the average consumer is not aware of the basic information that he has a right to know just because these essential details are written in English instead of Hindi or the regional language,” he adds.

But the judgement on Jan 13 by a bench headed by Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay refused to issue directions to this effect, saying though the majority of people have accepted Hindi as the national language, the status has not been conferred on it.

The court had sought any notification that may have been issued granting national language status to Hindi, but no such document could be produced though it was made known that the constitution had given Hindi the status of official language.

According to Kachchadia’s counsel Harshadrai Dave, proceedings of the Constituent Assembly carried references to a sub-committee for fundamental rights, which refers to a proposal for making Hindustani the first official language of the union to unite the nation.

He is planning to move Supreme Court.

“The only obstacle in my path is the formidable financial expenditure incurred in taking matters up in the Supreme Court. I propose to take it up once I have applied myself fully to the matter,” says Kachchadia.

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