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I'm referring to this accepted answer. Emphasis mine.

India is a huge country with over 20 (not exactly sure) vernaculars. The official language varies from state to state. Although Hindi is considered the national language, not all people from all states speak Hindi.

From my research, I've found out that Hindi is, in fact, an official language, not the national language of India. English and Hindi are the two official languages of the country. Each state then has an additional official language of their own.

For example, here's a quote from division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and justice A.S. Dave.

“Normally, in India, majority of the people have accepted Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.”

Here's a Wikipedia link., and another.

  • You're probably going to take this as pedantic hairsplitting, but the statement "Hindi is considered the national language" does not mean "Hindi is the national language", as you've chosen to misinterpret it. Hindi is (sometimes) considered (as stated) a national language, although India has no officially recognized "national language". I don't see why editing the answer to say "often considered" or "considered by some", etc., would be objectionable: it is true to the meaning of the original if the original is interpreted as being neither inaccurate nor misleading. – JEL Apr 24 '16 at 19:14
  • @JEL Thank you for your input. I've decided that it's better to leave a comment there, just for future readers and hope it doesn't get removed. But my question was actually intended to learn, in general, about editing accepted answers to make minor changes, with this particular one being an example. – NVZ Apr 24 '16 at 19:21
  • Is there a substantive difference between 'national' and 'official'? Is that the important point here? – Mitch Apr 25 '16 at 1:27
  • @Mitch that's a nice question, you'll find answers on Google. In short, for most countries their official language is their national language i.e, spoken by over 90% of the population. But for India, there are more than 20 officially recognised languages, and not everyone supports Hindi, so it cannot be called the national language. The important point is learn whether I'm allowed to make minor edits on old accepted answers or not, with this being an example. – NVZ Apr 25 '16 at 3:42
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As the answer to the following Meta post suggests, editing an accepted answer is discouraged unless it is "harmful" and it is better to write a comment to the post or your own answer and use your downvote if you find the answer unhelpful.

Old, accepted answer is now wrong. Edit or create new answer?.

You will find the following linked question and answer helpful.

Why is a “seemingly” wrong answer kept as it is?.

When you read the edit history of the accepted answer, you will understand what happened. You can place a bounty on the question if you want to attract more attention to it. Obviously the 350 reputation point bounty on the linked question, “By foot” vs. “on foot” worked pretty well. Not only did the question receive more helpful answers, the accepted answer was edited afterwards.

  • Thank you, Rathony. So I've left a comment there instead of editing. However, if edited, it would change only less than 5% of it. – NVZ Apr 23 '16 at 15:06
  • @NVZ I am not sure how much percentage of change to the answer could justify any edit. Your suggested edit (if it happens) doesn't seem to be included in the guideline of our help center. (1) to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes (2) to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it (3) to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages (4) to add related resources or hyperlinks – user140086 Apr 23 '16 at 15:39
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    But as more people read it, they'll believe Hindi is our national language, which it isn't. – NVZ Apr 23 '16 at 15:40
  • Also, the edit will not change the part of the answer addressing the question. The edit will change only the side notes. – NVZ Apr 23 '16 at 15:42
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    @NVZ I think your comment could help future readers. The OP stated "is considered to be", not "is" and there is subtle difference. BTW, I upvoted your comment and if you post your own answer, I will upvote it, too. – user140086 Apr 23 '16 at 15:44
  • Thank you, Rathony. I'm not really into answering that question. Just this part, made me uneasy. – NVZ Apr 23 '16 at 15:48
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    @NVZ The OP didn't log in after posting the answer and the chances of the post getting edited by the OP seem pretty low. If there is not much we can do about it, let's move on. – user140086 Apr 23 '16 at 15:52
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    I'm the editor stack exchange deserves, but not the one it needs right now. – NVZ Apr 23 '16 at 15:54
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    @NVZ I'd say it would be correcting a minor mistake, so go for it – curiousdannii Apr 24 '16 at 5:29
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    This meta answer highlights a good approach to editing accepted answers. In this case, @NVZ's comment is sufficient to clarify the issue. However, if the edit is restricted to something like replacing "Hindi is the national language" with "Hindi is an official language", I'd consider it a minor edit that doesn't affect the force of the argument that English is widespread despite Hindi's official status. If the edit is more substantial, greater care must be taken to preserve the argument. (Note: I don't know the actual status of Hindi as an official/national language.) – Lawrence Apr 24 '16 at 15:35
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    @Lawrence Thank you for sharing. I will be more careful next time. :) – NVZ Apr 24 '16 at 16:06

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