As India celebrates #HindiDiwas, learn more about the country’s national language


On September 14, 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi as the official language of the Republic of India. Since then, this day has been celebrated annually under the name of Hindi Diwas, with thousands of people paying homage to it. Spoken as a native language by over 258 million people across the world, Hindi is an important part of India’s history and culture. The Indo-Aryan language is based on the Devanagari script and is mainly spoken in northern and central India.

“I wish you all a very happy Hindi Diwas. People from different regions have played a remarkable role in making Hindi a capable and vigorous language. It is the result of all your efforts that Hindi is continually creating itself. a strong identity on the world stage, “said PM Modi’s tweet, roughly translated from Hindi.

“On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, I urge all compatriots to make a commitment to gradually use Hindi which is one of the official languages ​​with their mother tongue in basic work. The progress of India is contained in the coordination of mother tongue and official language. I wish you all a very happy Hindi Diwas, ”Interior Minister Amit Shah added, in a tweet roughly translated from Hindi.

But while Hindi in the Devanagari script is the official language of the Union (with English where applicable), it is different from the national language of India. Despite some public claims made by government officials at various times, official documents indicate that India does not have a fully national language. In 2017, for example, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu insisted that Hindi was the national language, even as he lamented India’s “obsession” with English.

The debate has raged since before independence. A Constituent Assembly meeting in 1946, for example, saw RV Dhulekar speaking in Hindustani and later asserting that those who did not understand the language “were not allowed to stay in India.”

In 2010, the Gujarat High Court observed that although a majority of people in India accepted it as their national language, “nothing in the records indicates that any provision was made or an order was made. issued declaring Hindi as the country’s national language “.

Over the years, government proposals, including those proposing compulsory teaching of Hindi in schools, have sparked debate. Many non-Hindi speaking states have also opposed pan-Indian adoption of another language. In everyday use, while Hindi or English are preferred, other languages ​​are often used. In Parliament, for example, any member who cannot speak Hindi or English correctly may be allowed to address the House in their mother tongue.

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Posted on: Tuesday September 14, 2021 3:24 PM IST

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