Hindi language: Its contemporary importance and aspects
Dr. Sumedh K Hadke
India is a multilingual country. It is home to two of the world’s largest language families, the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. The languages of the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman language families are also spoken in India, though relatively by few people as compared to the speakers of the former two families. Hindi is a New Indo-Aryan language spoken in the North of India by almost 550 million people. According to the 2011 census, 43.63 percent of Indians speak Hindi (it their mother tongue). It is written in the Devanagri script and is the official language of the government of India. English is designated as the associate official language. However, the country is linguistically diverse with 12 scripts and 22 different languages considered as official. Hindi is spoken in North India namely Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Territory of Delhi. These multitude of languages reflect India's culture and diverse history. During the last thousand years, the Indian sub-continent has been both fragmented into many small kingdoms and united under various empires. This has helped spread many common linguistic features, among Indian languages without allowing any particular language to become overwhelmingly dominant. Having attained independence from the British in 1947, Indian leaders chose Hindi as the official language of India in the hope that it would facilitate regional communication and encourage national unity. They were aware of many of the difficulties inherent with instating a single language in India's multilingual environment, and they accordingly laid out a clear timeline and plan for introducing Hindi and phasing English out. Despite this planning, Hindi and English today still share their status as official Languages.