On the other hand the requested declaration of

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On the other hand, the requested declaration of minority languages as second official languages in districts where persons speaking such languages constitute at least 60% of the population, is indeed a far reaching and prominent provision guaranteeing equal rights of all citizens vis-à-vis the public administration. To what extent has this provision been applied? The wording “should be” grants a certain margin of discretion for the State Governments in deciding on the recognition of local official languages. 238 See CIIL Mysore, Language and administration , at: 239 For this issue see also Table 6 and chapter 5.1 on official languages on State level. Also the example cited above should be briefly recalled: Though the Official Language Act of Andhra Pradesh of 1966 recognises Telugu as the Official Language for use in its territory, it also permits the use of English, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil and Oriya in certain specified situations and regions for administrative activities. Hence, the latter ones are the “ Languages used in adminis- tration ” in Andhra Pradesh, although only Telugu is the “ Official Language ”.
86 There is currently no consistent mapping of districts under this requirement to be found. The use of minority languages in the administration at district level has been largely ignored for various reasons. The receipt of, and reply to, representations made in minority languages has been notably applied in most cases, according to the NCLM . 240 The issue of pamphlets in minority languages detailing the safeguards available to linguistic minorities is important, but more important is the concrete implementation of these provisions. The NCLM complains that there is an absence of proper machinery at the State and district levels to redress grievances in matters of the protection of linguistic minorities and comments rather sceptically in one of his last annual reports: “In the beginning the concern was repeatedly expressed and whenever there was a deviation, remedial steps taken. As the system evolved, the attention wavered and all these concerns became commonplace. Gradually a slackening was noted and, needless to say, the implementation of the safeguards at present is not uniform over the various states. With the passing of time the priorities have changed. A general sense of apathy seems to have taken hold of some of the states for various reasons. Perhaps one of the reasons is the growing complexity of the administration. The harassed administrator is far too much occupied with fire fighting operations to take a look at the other issues which can be left alone to take care of themselves. At the higher level, there are other problems which are of much more urgency to them.” 241 The arguments concerning the receipt of the applications and representations in languages beyond the official languages are nearly identical. An additional point is that very often the applications, complaints

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