It was in 1918 that Mahatma Gandhi, widely regarded as the Father of the Nation, had attended a conference on Hindi literature and asked Hindi to be made the national language of India. He had even gone ahead and called it the language of everyone. It was on 14th September 1949 that Hindi, alongwith English, was accepted as the official language of India by the Constituent Assembly. It was from 1953 onwards that Hindi Diwas came to be celebrated annually on 14th September in order to promote the use of this language in India.
How is it celebrated?
As may be the case with any other festival in the country, Hindi Diwas is celebrated with a whole lot of gusto and enthusiasm by the people. The festival is celebrated primarily in Delhi and witnesses a number of literary activities as well as celebrations to commemorate the memorable day. PHD Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi normally organizes Hindi Diwas Samaroh on this day. The centrepiece of attraction is easily the function known as Hindi Hain Hum. Other special functions are also organized on this day. It can be expected that this year Ram Nath Kovind, the incumbent President, will be taking part in the festivities.
The importance of Hindi in independent India
A couple of years following independence, the newly created government of India was feeling the pinch of trying to string together the innumerable linguistic, cultural, and religious groups that inhabited the vast country. India needed to have a unique national flavor for the unification to be complete. Since the country itself did not have any one national language as such, it was decided by the administration that Hindi could be that language they were looking for. It proved to be the ideal solution at that point in time.
Why was Hindi chosen?
At that time, Hindi was the language spoken in most of northern India and as such the administration considered it to be a safe bet for initiating, and then continuing, its programme of national unification via language. It was acknowledged though that it was not the perfect solution to the problems that they were facing. There was a huge portion of the country that was really unhappy with the way this language was being imposed on them for the simple reason that the language was not rooted in their culture. It was for this reason that English was also accorded the status of an official language along with Hindi.
The history of Hindi
The lineage of Hindi can be traced back to Indo-Aryan Age and to when they first came to the these lands. The language itself belongs to the Indo-European group of languages. Along with making Hindi one of the official languages of India, the-then government also tried to use the grammar and orthography to good effect. Devanagari was used as a script in order to bring a sense of uniformity to proceedings. Hindi is also an international language in the sense that it is spoken by people in countries where you find people of Indian origin. Some prominent names among these are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Mauritius, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
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