14th September is celebrated across the country as Hindi Diwas. But do you know why this date is chosen exclusively to celebrate the day? Let us narrate the history behind the celebration of Hindi Diwas on 14th September. When our country attained freedom from British rule in 1947, then a big concern of language was standing before them. India is a huge country with a varied culture. There are hundreds of languages that are spoken in the country and more than thousands of dialects. On 6th December 1946, Constitution Assembly was called to prepare the constitution of independent India. Sacchinanand Sinha was appointed as the Interim Director of Constitution Assembly, later he was replaced by Dr Rajendra Prasad. Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was the Chairman of Drafting Committee of Constitution Assembly. The Assembly presented the final draft on 26th November 1949. Hence, independent India received its constitution on 26th January 1950 completely.
But still, the concern for choosing an official language for the constitution was still unattended. After a long debate and discussion, Hindi and English were chosen as the official language of independent India. On 14th September 1949, Constitution Assembly accepted Hindi written in Devnagri Script and English as an official language. Later, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru announced this day to be celebrated as Hindi Diwas in the country. First Hindi Diwas was celebrated on 14th September 1953.
Right from the war of independence, a single language for the country was called upon. Ministers from different states suggested Hindi to be accepted as a language of communication for the country. Apart from the Northern part of India, states in Western India spoke and understood Hindi as well as their native language. But Southern and North-eastern states of India found Hindi as a foreign language. This is the reason why Hindi wasn’t declared as the national language of India after independence. According to article 351 of Indian Constitution, it is the duty of Union government to promote the spread of Hindi language, so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India. It was conceived that Indian government will work towards promoting Hindi and when this language will be accepted throughout the country, then it will be declared the national language of India.
But when the time came for English to be removed as an official language of India, several states of the country started protesting. Southern states of India saw a violent protest against the move. In Tamil Nadu, in January 1965, riots were sparked on language conflict. Following the incidents, Central Government of India made amendments in the Constitution to maintain English as well as Hindi as the official language of the country. Apart from official language, Indian constitution’s eight schedule includes 22 languages.
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