“For all-India intercourse we need, from among the Indian stock, a language which the largest number of people already know and understand and which the others can easily pick up. This language is indisputably Hindi.” -Mahatma Gandhi

India as we all know is a land of diverse languages. As per the 2001 Census, there are 122 languages and 234 mother tongues in India. India also has 22 scheduled languages listed in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. They are: (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.

During our independence struggle, our country needed to unite, we needed to unite to throw out the common enemy from our country. That is when the issue of national language first came into being. What could that language be? The answer was given by Mahatma Gandhi in the Gujarat Education Conference held in 1917 in Bharuch. He said it should be Hindi as it is spoken by majority of the Indians. Also, the simplicity of the language allowed it to be used for economic, social, political and religious purposes and would act as a common link to unify the country even after independence. Hindi was listed as the official language on 14th of September 1949, which became the Hindi Diwas and is celebrated every year in our country.

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This official language was discussed in detail in the constituent assembly and then it was decided that Hindi should be adopted as the official language with Devanagari as its script. The Department of Official Language prepares an annual programme according to the Official Language Resolution, 1968. The annual programme sets the targets for the offices of the Central government with regard to originating correspondence, telegrams, telex, etc., in Hindi. Eight regional implementation offices have been set up across the country at Bengaluru, Kochi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhopal, Delhi and Ghaziabad to monitor the implementation of the Official Language Policy. The modern technology can also facilitate the easy use of Hindi digitally.

I would like to end this with the words of Amit Shah, our home minister. On the day of Hindi Diwas, he tweeted, "India has many languages and every language has its importance. But it is absolutely necessary that the entire country should have one language that becomes India's identity globally."

About Abhinav Khare:

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of AsiaNetNews Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK. AsiaNetNews is a leading media group of south India with highly valuable brands like AsiaNetNews, Suvarna News, Kannada Prabha, IndigoMusic, Indigo Radio, MyNation, NewsFast, IndigoXP Music lounges. 

He is a proud father of two beautiful daughters and resides in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. An avid traveller, he has already pinged more than hundred cities from 5 major continents around the globe. 

A tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about policy, technology, economy and philosophy from ancient India. His favourite pastime is to research synergy between these facets of society. He earned his qualifications from the top 10 global universities; an MS Engineering from the ETH Zurich and an MBA Finance from the London Business School.