Hindi Diwas celebration: How it all began

The Centre has over the years tried to promote the Hindi language as the symbol of Indian unity and the celebration of Hindi Diwas is part of the efforts.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 14, 2016 8:40 pm
Hindi diwas, #HindiDiwas, Hindi day, hindi day 2016, celebration of Hindi day, hindi as official language, official language of india, Indian Express The Centre has over the years tried to promote the Hindi language as the symbol of Indian unity and the celebration of Hindi Diwas is part of the efforts.

Hindi Diwas commemorates the day when the Constituent Assembly of India accepted Hindi as the official language of the country along with English. The listing of Hindi as official language took place on September 14, 1949.

Two years following Independence, the newly formed administration was reeling under the pressure to bring together the multiple linguistic, cultural and religious groups of the nation. The unification of the country had to be done along with giving it a unique national flavour. In a country that did not have any one language giving it a unique national identity, Hindi provided itself as the solution for unification.

Being the spoken language of a major portion of North India, Hindi was a safe solution for national linguistic unification, but definitely not the perfect one. Large tracts of non-Hindi speaking India was unhappy with the idea of an imposition of a language upon them that did not have its roots in their cultural consciousness. Hence, along with Hindi, English was also made the official language of the country.

At this point, a period of 15 years was proposed as the time period during which Hindi would eventually replace English as the sole language used for official purposes in India. Further, Article 351 of the Constitution asked for the promotion and development of the Hindi language in a way that it could serve as a means of expression in all matters.

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However, on the lapse of 15 years, violent protests broke out in several non-Hindi speaking parts of India, especially Tamil Nadu. In January 1965, riots broke out in Madurai and soon spread to Madras. The aggressive resistance by large sections of the population resulted in the Centre passing an amended Official Languages Act which explicitly stated that English would continue to be upheld as the official language along with Hindi.

The Centre has over the years tried to promote the Hindi language as the symbol of Indian unity and the celebration of Hindi Diwas is part of the efforts. Several events and award ceremonies are held in the local and national level as part of the celebration. This year, a function named “Hindi Hum Hain” has been organised at the PHD Chamber of Commerce in Delhi.