World Hindi Divas

Is ‘Hi’ taking over ‘नमस्ते’?

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On the 10th of January every year, India rejoices in happiness as Indians celebrate the World Hindi Divas. On a regular basis, nearly 450 million people speak and communicate in Hindi! For years, the government of India (both former as well as the current ruling parties) has been implementing several strategies and measures to promote the Hindi language on global platforms. Moreover, Hindi is one of the most widely spoken and understood languages across the world.

Looking at the bright side, it seems obvious that the use and encouragement of Hindi is quite pragmatic. However, the use and encouragement of Hindi in India depict two sides of the same coin. And, the figures are not as flabbergasting as they seem like.

While every year, we focus on the brighter side of the horizon, this year let us focus on doing some reality checks.

1. Millions of Hindi Speakers

India’s population is swarming with young as well as old Hindi speakers. The real question is do they actually speak Hindi? The answer is no. Only a handful of India’s population comprises pure Hindi speakers.

What we speak today is the amalgamated version of Hindi (Hindi+ Arabic/Parsi/Urdu). And the reason is the influence of modern media. Modern media such as cinema, songs, prints, others., seldom make use of pure Hindi and widely endorse the use of Hindi and English in a mixed form, resulting in the usage of phrases such as “ इधर आ and look at me.”

2. Global Promotion and Encouragement

While we are proud that Hindi is receiving huge appreciation on Global platforms, the reality back here in India speaks otherwise. In India, the encouragement for English speaking is enormously done.

From corporate sectors, organizations to schools and universities, the use of Hindi is discarded while the use of English is promoted. Moreover, several government organizations debar from communicating in Hindi by keeping their medium of instruction and communication in English.

3.  Proud Hindi Speakers

As #proudhindispeaker trends on social media on the occasion of World Hindi day, the current modernized situation in our society stands as a counterargument. Several people throughout the nation, including youngsters as well as senior citizens, are looked down on for communicating in Hindi. Moreover, people are also shamed for being particular in Hindi and using it as their primary mode of communication.

4. नमस्ते or Hey?

Today, catchphrases such as ‘HEY’, ‘HELLO’, ‘HI’ have overtaken ‘नमस्ते’. Gen z has completely discarded the use of Hindi in their everyday communications. Hindi is slowly losing its stature as a language that connects the majority of people in India. Hindi-speaking masses are looked down upon owing to a rather unpopular opinion that it signifies a sense of backwardness while English gives a sense of superiority and high class.

Globalization has deeply influenced one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. The above factors might be concerning, but they should not stop us from learning a language that has vast historical and cultural roots in our country. Hindi helps us connect with each other on several levels. On the occasion of World Hindi Day, we can preach about its importance and significance for Indians.

Read more: LinkedIn adds Hindi with the aim to reach 500 million people

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