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Daily News Analysis

World Hindi Day

10th January, 2023 MISCELLANEOUS

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  • World Hindi Day also known as Vishwa Hindi Diwas, is celebrated on 10th January every year to mark the importance of Hindi as a language.
    • The day was started to honour the anniversary of the first time use of the Hindi language in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1949.
    • In 1975, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the first World Hindi Conference. Since then, conferences have been organised in different parts of the world.
    • On 10th January 2006, World Hindi Day was celebrated for the first time.
  • The objective is to create awareness about the Indian language and promote it as a global language around the world.
  • While World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year, Hindi Diwas is celebrated on September 14 annually.
    • World Hindi Day aims to promote global recognition of the Hindi Language around the world.
    • Hindi Diwas focuses on the recognition of the Hindi language in India.

Hindi’s reach:

  • Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world and is written in Devanagari script. The language got its name from the Persian word 'Hind' - meaning 'land of the Indus River', and is a descendant of Sanskrit.
  • Turk invaders in the early 11th century named the language of the region Hindi, 'language of the land of the Indus River'.
  • Hindi is also spoken in some countries outside India, such as Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Nepal.
  • Hindi in its present form emerged through different stages, during which it was known by other names. The earliest form of old Hindi was Apabhramsa. In 400 AD Kalidas wrote a romantic play in Apabhramsa called Vikramorvashiyam.
  • The modern Devanagari script came into existence in the 11th century.
  • The 2011 linguistic census accounts for 121 mother tongues, including 22 languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
    • Hindi is the most widely spoken, with 52.8 crore individuals, or 43.6% of the population, declaring it as their mother tongue. The next highest is Bengali, the mother tongue for 9.7 crores (8%) — less than one-fifth of Hindi’s count.
    • In terms of the number of people who know Hindi, the count crosses more than half the country. Nearly 13.9 crores (over 11%) reported Hindi as their second language, which makes it either the mother tongue or second language for nearly 55% of the population.
  • English, alongside Hindi, is one of the two official languages of the central government, but it is not among the 22 languages in the 8th Schedule. It is one of the 99 non-scheduled languages. In terms of mother tongue, India had just 2.6 lakh English speakers in 2011. As a second language, 8.3 crores spoke it in 2011, second only to Hindi (13.9 crores).


What are the Government Initiatives to Promote Hindi?

  • The Central Hindi Directorate was established in 1960 by the Government of India under the Ministry of Education to promote and propagate Hindi.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has established ‘Hindi Chairs’ in various foreign universities/institutions abroad to promote the Hindi language in foreign countries.
  • E-Saral Hindi Vakya Kosh and E-Mahashabdkosh Mobile App, both initiatives of the Department of Official
  • Language, aim to harness information technology for the growth of Hindi.