September 14 is observed as Hindi Diwas every year. Hindi Day (हिन्दी दिवस) is celebrated in India to commemorate the date 14 September 1949 on which a compromise was reached – during the drafting of the Constitution of India – on the languages that were to have official status in the Republic of India.
The compromise, usually called the Munshi-Ayyangar formula, after drafting committee members K. M. Munshi and N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, was voted by the Constituent Assembly of India after three years of debate between two opposing camps.
The Hindi protagonists wanted Hindi to be the sole “national language” of India; the delegates from South India preferred English to have a place in the Constitution.
The Munshi-Ayyangar formula declared –
- (i) Hindi to be the “official language” of India’s federal government;
- (ii) English to be an associate official language for 15 years during which Hindi’s formal lexicon would be developed; and
- (iii) the international form of the Hindu-Arabic numerals to be the official numerals.
The compromise resolution became articles 343–351 of India’s constitution, which went into effect on 26 January 1950. In 1965, when the 15 years were up, the Government of India announced that English would continue to be the “de facto formal language of India.
Facts about Hindi Diwas
1. Bihar became the first state in India to adopt Hindi as its official state language. It replaced Urdu with Hindi in 1881. Following this, Hindi also became the official language of other states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana & Rajasthan among others.
2. Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English. Hindi is also spoken in countries Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal.
3. English words like Avatar, Jungle, Guru, Karma, Mantra, Yoga, Guru, Bungalow, Loot, Pajamas, Shampoo, Thug and many more are borrowed from Hindi.
4. Letters of Hindi alphabet have their own independent and distinct sound.
5. Hindi got its name from the Persian word Hind meaning ‘land of the Indus River’.
The provisions related to the Hindi language are regulated by the Central Hindi Directorate, Government of India.
World Hindi Day
World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 to promote the language at the international level while Hindi Diwas is celebrated when the constituent Assembly declared Hindi as the official language of India.