Condition of Hindi in India

Hindi was recognized as official language of the country after the independence in 1947. For centuries, Hindi has been our national language or a language which connects people of one region to another. Muslim rulers are credited with spreading the language to Bengal and Assam. During the rule of Khilji dynasty, Hindi was a language which connected people of north Indian cities and towns. In 1265 AD, Alauddin Khilji invaded Devagiri in south after which Hindi reached to South India. It is Hindi which is credited with spreading Bhakti Andolan (Devotional Movement) of medieval era in every household. Hindi is still a connecting language or national language in this country. From Itanagar and Izol to Kutch in Gujarat and From Kashmir to Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu, Hindi connects people of this country. People of Tamil Nadu have no problem in communicating in Hindi.

According to the census of 2001, about 551.4 million people (55 crores) spoke Hindi in India. It is estimated that this number has gone up to 75-80 crores in 2011. The news papers in Hindi and other Indian languages are most read in the country than English news papers. English news papers are confined to the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. They have no reach to the average citizens. The demand for books published in Hindi has also grown significantly. This fact was evident during 19th book fair which was held in New Delhi's Pragati Maidan during Jan'30 to Feb'07, 2010.

A voluminous and a bit costlier Hindi novel 'Mahasamar' by Narendra Kohli which is based on the theme of the epic Mahabharata sold in the book fair like a hot cake. This was reported in the national daily Rashtriya Sahara dated Feb'07, 2010 (New Delhi) (Page no. 11). A large number of Hindi readers thronged in the book fair. Given the growing demand for Hindi books and reality of the market, Penguin Publishers had set up a separate stall for Hindi books. According to a report by National Book Trust (NBT), a significant rise in the number of Hindi publishers was witnessed in this book fair (Ref- NBT News letter, Vol. 25, number 12 March 10 PP 1-2- Growing Hindi Publishers). Hindi is playing a pivotal role in trade and advertisement. Hindi programmes are highly popular on Radio, Doordarshan/TV. But English is still predominant in higher education/Medical studies/technical studies/commercial studies.

Its dominance in these studies is still growing. English is also predominant in computer studies and internet. In our judicial system, especially in higher judiciary proceedings and verdicts are made in English. Moreover, Hindi is nowhere to be seen in the proceedings of Supreme Court. It presents an ironical face of our judicial system that people don't get justice in their own language. How longer this situation will continue? When will our judiciary allow us to communicate before it in Hindi or other Indian languages? Today, the demand for education in English medium is significantly growing. Also the craze for English medium public schools is growing. But given the fact that 37 percent people of this country live below poverty line and they can't afford such a huge expanse on English education. For these people survival is the biggest challenge and they earn their two ends meal with a great difficulty. Even the government's official language is English. English is predominantly used in government and private offices. The communications between union government and state governments or among state governments takes place in English language. Every year, Hindi Divas, Hindi week and Hindi related other functions are observed in the government offices where the promotion of Hindi language is discussed as a major agenda. But in reality, use of Hindi is hardly witnessed the in government offices. Now it is a time to change our mentality. Most countries in the world use their national language as their official language. Most of the government works are done in their national languages. But ironically, our ministers find it very difficult to take oath of their office in Hindi. In 2009 and 2010, most of our union ministers took oath of their office in English.

Again it was a shameful incident when a ruckus was created in the Lok Sabha over use of Hindi in the house on Aug'13, 2010. That day a union minister was replying to a question in Hindi. An MP created ruckus over it when due to technical problems he could not be provided with the English transcription of the minister's reply. To some extent we can say that Hindi is more respected or honoured in the foreign countries. First in July 2007, an International Hindi Conference was observed at the UNO head office in New York. The event was inaugurated by UNO Secretary General. Again in 2009, a Yuva Hindi Sansthan (A Hindi institution for youth) was set up in New York for promoting this language among people of Indian Diaspora. This institute had organized a ten days language camp between June 19 to June 28, 2010 in Atlanta-Georgia state in which 100 representatives participated. This camp programmes was sponsored by US government and other major educational and research institutes and reputed universities of the United States of America. US government recognizes Hindi as a major language of the world which opens the door for Hindi education in government schools and colleges as a major foreign language in USA. US government recognizes Hindi as a language which has a major role in promoting trade and diplomatic relationship between India and USA. According to another news report, Hindi is significantly spreading in Hungary. Significantly, most of those who are learning Hindi are the natives. It is witnessed that people of all hues, like doctors, engineers, women, students and senior people also showing interest in learning Hindi. Maria Ntzashika, a Hindi teacher in "Indo-European Linguistic Institute" appeals the government of India to release more fund for scholarship so that more and more people from Hungary could visit India to learn Hindi especially for PHD degree. A lot of Hungarian literature has been translated in Hindi and vice versa. Maria herself is associated with Hindi and India for over 25 years (Nai Dunia, Noida, 05.09.10). Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha, is playing an important role for the promotion of Hindi across the world. The university is making best efforts in association with foreign universities to promote Hindi as an international language. It is working as a coordinator to cater the studies of various subjects in Hindi medium in the foreign universities. For the sake of readers of Hindi across the world, this university has provided the texts from Bhartendu era (1900) to 1950 for free on its website. The total content of Hindi literature available on its website '' amounts to over one lakh pages. Now it is high time to promote Hindi as a global language and an official language of UNO. Our Foreign Minister has estimated that this campaign will cost about 14 million dollar annually. Its good thing to promote Hindi globally and work to get it recognized as an official language of UNO. But at the same time, we need to explore the answer of the question… are we doing justice with Hindi in our own country? It is constitutional responsibility of the government of India and all state governments to get Hindi recognition as India's official and national language. Our political leaders, Members of Parliament and members of state legislatures also have onus for promotion of Hindi. Are they not interested in promoting Hindi and other regional languages which are used by over 1000 million people in this country. English, which actually rules over people of this country, doesn't have any acquaintance with the large part of people who live in rural India. How longer this foreign language will be allowed to rule over our fellow citizens. We have to ponder over the condition of Hindi in this country.