Hindi Divas 2019
- 16 Sep 2019
- 4 min read
Rashtriya Hindi Divas is observed across India every year on 14th September.
- The Hindi language is the single largest spoken language (43.63% of people in India) among the 22 scheduled languages in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution.
- It is also the fourth most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English.
- The Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi written in Devnagari Script along with English as the official language of the country on September 14, 1949, under Article 343(1).
- Initially, English was granted the official language status for only 15 years since the adoption of the constitution. During these 15 years, Hindi’s reach was to be promoted for official purposes as well as in the education sector so that English would fade out, giving ground to Hindi.
- Imposition of Hindi was contested in many non-Hindi states, especially in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Violent protests broke out in southern India leading the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to introduce the ‘Official Languages Act’ in 1963, which assured the continuation of English along with Hindi as the official language of the Union of India.
- Anti-Hindi protests of 1965 marked an important turn in India’s official language policy. The ‘Official Languages Act’ was amended in 1967 guaranteeing the "virtual indefinite policy of bilingualism" for all official purposes of the Union.
- Given the linguistic diversity of India, there is no national language as all the states are free to decide their own official languages.
- Article 343(1) states that the Official Language of the Union government shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
- Article 351 gives power to the Union Government to issue a directive for the development of the Hindi language.
- The Hindi language is one of the 22 languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Worldwide Promotion for the Hindi Language
- In 2018, the Indian Prime Minister became the first head of government to address the World Economic Forum in a national language other than English.
- The Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Mauritius has set up the World Hindi Secretariat in Port Louis, Mauritius for promotion and propagation of Hindi globally.
- Indian Government’s effort led to the creation of Hindi Twitter account of the UN in 2018.
- The first world World Hindi Conference was organized in Nagpur on January 10, 1975. To commemorate the occasion, the government of India since 2006 is celebrating 10th January as World Hindi Day.
- The then Minister of External Affairs Atal Bihari Vajpayee was first to give a speech in Hindi at the United Nations in 1977.