As India celebrated ‘Hindi Diwas‘ (Hindi Day) on 14th September, let us look at the usage of the language in the country in public and the Government institutions.
Crux of the Matter
India celebrates ‘Hindi Diwas’ (Hindi Day) on 14 September annually on the day when “Hindi written in Devanagari script” was approved as one of the official languages of the country in 1949. Efforts of notable writers and figures like Beohar Rajendra Simha, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Kaka Kalelkar, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, and Seth Govind Das have been widely recognized as the driving force of the decision.
A Scheduled Language
Hindi is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. Scheduled languages are the languages officially recognized by the Government of India, from which a State Government may choose any of the 22 languages as the official language(s) of the state. Moreover, several Government exams have provisions to allow answers in any of the 22 languages.
Not A National Language
There is no National Language of the country. India has ‘Official languages’, which are to be used in the official work of the Central Government. Currently, the status has been provided to Hindi and English. However, while all the proceedings and documents of the Supreme Court are in English only, Hindi might be used in High Courts and lower courts.
Some Facts About Usage Of Hindi
- English, Hindi, and a regional language are used on railway stations. However, an exception exists in Tamil Nadu, “where the use of Hindi will be restricted to important stations and pilgrim centres as determined by the Commercial Department”.
- 43.6% of Indians are able to speak Hindi.
- 26% of Indians have Hindi as their first language.
- Several languages like Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Bundeli, etc are listed under the Hindi language.
- Only English is allowed on Vehicle Number Plates with numbers in Arabic numerals (0,1,2….9).
- Chandrakanta is an epic fantasy Hindi novel by Devaki Nandan Khatri. Published in 1888, it was the first modern Hindi novel.
- Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha is an organisation whose main goal is to improve Hindi literacy among the non-Hindi speaking people of South India. The organisation was established by Mahatma Gandhi, who became the founder president of the Sabha, who held the post till his death.
- The Anti-Hindi imposition agitations of Tamil Nadu were a series of agitations that happened in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu during both pre and post-Independence periods. The agitations involved several mass protests, riots, student and political movements in Tamil Nadu concerning the official status of Hindi in the state.
- The Indian Express – Explained: Understanding the language of railway station signboards
- BBC – A Guide to Hindi – 10 facts about the Hindi language
- Firstpost – ‘In Supreme Court, you must speak in English’: CJI Ranjan Gogoi tells judge after hearing him argue in court in Hindi
- The Hindu – Data: Just 26% of Indians speak Hindi as mother tongue