September 14th is celebrated as Hindi Diwas in India. Hindi which is widely publicized as national language of India is actually one of the multiple languages that are spoken in India. Hindi is pretty much of a modern language when compared to ancient languages like Tamizh, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. While many states in north India have accepted Hindi as their official language, states of south India raise objection to imposition of Hindi from time to time.
As for myself, being brought up and studied in Jaipur, I knew Hindi from the beginning. Even though I studied in English medium school, Hindi always has a special place in my heart. I don’t need a particular day to celebrate it because I never ignored or disregarded it.
While working in South India, I got an opportunity to learn a bit of Tamizh and Malayalam. It was then I realized how beautiful these languages and their expressions are. I could understand why people there are not ready to replace their mother tongue with Hindi. I respect their emotions. At the same time, I feel there is some misunderstanding on their part. I would like such people to explore the soul and beauty of Hindi before opposing it right away.
Talking of Hindi reminds me of the famous line of poet Iqbal, “Hindi hain hum, watan hai Hindostan Hamara.” In this expression, the word “Hindi” has a much liberal meaning than what it is mostly restricted to. It doesn’t denote a language, it denotes the people who reside in “Hind” or India regardless of what language they speak and what religion they follow. I would like to see people celebrate Hindi Diwas with the same “Hindi” spirit.