West European nation-states which emerged after the Treaty of West Phalia concluded in 1648 were established based on the maxim: one nation, one (official language). But this principle and policy are inappropriate for multinational and ployglot polities. And yet, the tendency to imitate the nation-state model persists all over the world. The inherent inappropriateness of this model is unfolded through an examinationof the linguistic situation and language policy in India. After locating the deficits in the three approaches advocated in India-traditionalist, nationalist and modernist-the pluralist approach is put forward as a viable and democratic alternative for a cultural renewal of India. This approach, it is argued, will facilitate the programme of eradication of illiteracy, project of participatory development and the process of socio-political transformation all of which are pre-requisites for cultural renewal.