September 14 marks the National Hindi Day or Hindi Diwas to commemorate our common roots and values. But let’s face it. Today’s generation is more attracted to western languages, precisely English. Being the third most spoken language globally, Hindi is slowly dropping from our country’s vocabulary. Take a glance at why and how.
A language is an indispensable tool for sharing thoughts and ideas. It breaks the barriers and unifies people. When a language dies out, we lose an essential part of our culture, history, and values. To preserve our country’s identity, National Hindi Day or Hindi Diwas is observed annually on September 14.
Do you know, “Hindi is the third most spoken language after English and Mandarin?”
Origins of Hindi
Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language. It is written in the Devanagari script, which is derived from Sanskrit. The term ‘Hindi’ is believed to be originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Sindhu.’ It literary means sea. Initially, the Indus river, Pakistan’s longest river, was called ‘Sindhu.’ When Iranians arrived in India, they started calling the natives as ‘Hindu.’ Later, it turned into ‘Hindi.’
The significance of the National Hindi day lies in the fact that the Constituent Assembly recognized Hindi as the official language of independent India in 1949. The decision was then abided, and it became part of the Indian Constitution. Article 343 states, “The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. The form of numerals to be used for the Union’s official purposes shall be the international form of Indian numerals.” English is the other national language.
To propagate and promote the use of the Hindi language, celebrations and literary activities are witnessed worldwide. The educational institutions organize various cultural programs to acknowledge the language and be proud of it. Events such as poem recitations, essay writing, debates, etc. are scheduled. Also, The President of India honors those who have contributed vastly to Hindi’s growth and contribution. Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan hosts the award ceremony.
We have lost touch with the Hindi language
Hindi Diwas is a patriotic reminder that our language is slowly dying to death. Today our generation takes immense pride in speaking English or other foreign languages. Instead of staying loyal to our mother tongue, we have been facing westwards.
Does this generation know about the famous Hindi writers like Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Verma, etc.? No. But they are well versed with English names like Williams Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and many more. It is not entirely your fault. I mean, I could barely remember my teachers or parents pushing me towards Hindi literature.
Okay! One more trivia. Have you heard the music of Gwalior Gharana or Jaipur-Atrauli? No? We have surely forgotten our rich culture, including Hindustani music. Gharanasas are our country’s classical music legacy. Presently, the whole idea of music is deviating towards pop bands.
In the so-called ‘Hindi Heartland,’ everyone wants to learn English as they believe that modern life is synonymous with everyday language. It’s more like a status symbol here. An “Upmarket” language. Those who are not fluent in English are considered inferior. A similar situation is with Hindi but in an inverted way. If you speak it smoothly, people will start laughing. Probably they will term you as “Masterji” or “Panditji.”
No doubt, English is a global link for communication. And there is no harm in learning foreign languages. But no one has mentioned using it left, right, and center. Unless you are a patron of western culture, their world positively inspires today’s youngsters. They yearn to live their lives, speak their language, wear their clothes, eat their food, and enjoy their lifestyle.
So you will understand now why we are isolating ourselves from our rich culture. Gandhi Ji once quotes, “Rashtrabhasha Ke Bina Rashtra Goonga hai” (Without the national language, a country remains deaf). In our case, we have welcomed English warmly. It’s time to adopt the language given to us by our ancestors without any shame. , hold on to our roots.