India > Culture > Hindi Language

Hindi Language

India is the second most populous country in the world after China. Near about 40% (approximately 258 million peoples) of total population directly use Hindi as their mother tongue and the rest 60% less or more understand Hindi but all of them are not frequent to talk to Hindi. Usually, they use their regional or local or state language.

There are more than thousand of regional languages in India to use as their spoken language. As, majority of Indian population speaks in Hindu so, it is declared as country language of India. There are many state in India use Hindi as their state language also, namely, these are UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, MP, Chattisgarh etc and some Other states speaks Hindi more or less beside of their state language namely, Punjab, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand etc.

Official status of Hindi

The foundation of India, declares Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official language of the India in the year of 1950. The Constitution of India has set the usage of Hindi and English to be the two languages of communication for the Central Government. It was envisioned that Hindi would become the only working language of the central government by 1965.

At the state level, Hindi is the official language of the following states in India: Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi. Each of these states may also select a "co-official language"; in Uttar Pradesh sometimes this language is Urdu. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of co-official language in several states.

Vocabulary of Hindi Dialect

Standard Hindi derives much of its official and nominal words from Sanskrit, while the everyday spoken language in most areas is one of several varieties of Hindustani, whose vocabulary contains many words drawn from Persian and Arabic. In addition, spoken Hindi includes words from English and other languages as well. There are five main categories of words in Standard Hindi:

Tatsam words : These are words which are spelled the same in Hindi as in Sanskrit. E.g. Hindustani Naam, Sanskrit Nama, means name.

Ardh-tatsam words : These are words that were borrowed from Sanskrit in the middle Indo-Aryan or early New Indo-Aryan stages. Such words usually have undergone sound changes subsequent to being borrowed.

Tadbhav words : These are words which are spelled differently from Sanskrit but are derivable from a Sanskrit prototype. As e.g. Sanskrit karma, "deed" becomes Pali kamma, and finally Hindi Kaam, means work.

Deshaj words : These are words that were not borrowings but do not derive from attested Indo-Aryan words either. Belonging to this category are onomatopoetic words.

Videshi words : these include all words borrowed from sources other than Indo-Aryan. The most frequent sources of borrowing in this category have been Persian, Arabic, Portuguese and English.

Hindi literature, Time Period

History of Hindi literature as an entire can be divided into four stages: the Early Period, the Devotional Period, the Scholastic Period and the Modern Period.

The Early Period

The Early Period starts from the middle of the 10th century to the beginning of the 14th century. The poetry of this period has been divided into three categories - Apabhramsha Poetry, Heroic Poetry and Miscellaneous Poetry. During this period Jain poets like Swayambhu, Som Datt Suri, Sharang Dhar and Nalla Singh composed the Charit Kavyas, which propagate moral tenets and portrayals of Nature. Heroic Poetry was composed wholly in the native speech.

The Devotional Period

The Devotional Period extended between the 14th and the 17th century. The poets of this period are divided into two groups: Nirguna and Saguna poets, depending upon the devotional attitude towards the Lord. Those that put emphasis on the importance of knowledge for the realization of God were called the Saint poets. Kabir Das, Guru Nanak, Dharma Das, Maluk Das, Dadudayal, Sunder Das belong to this genre.

Poets who believed love was the path of realizing God were called Sufi Poets. Jayasi, Manjhan, Kutuban and Usman were the pioneers of this school. Poets of the Saguna style are also separated into two groups: the followers of Ramah and those of Krishna. Tulsi Das is the leading poet of the former group along with Agra Das, Nabha Das and Pran Chand Chauhan. Tulsi Das depicts Rama as the Ideal Man in his classical works Ramacharitamanasa, Gitavali, Kavitavali and Vinay Patrika. The devotional period created immortal literature and is distinguished as the golden age of Hindi Poetry.

The Scholastic period

The poets of The Scholastic period can be classified into two groups on the basis of their subject: Ritibaddha (those wedded to rhetoric) and Ritimukta (free from rhetorical conventions). The former poets composed on definitional and illustrative themes. The essential nature of Rasa, Alankara, Nayikabheda were illustrated by them through Saviyas and Kavitha. Poets like Chintamani, Keshav, Mati Ram, Deva, Kulpati Misra and Bhikari Das were leaders of this style. The second group consists of free-minded poets like Alam, Ghananand, Bodha and Thakur. They wrote in a spontaneous manner with feelings of love, quite dissimilar to rhetorical poetry.

The Modern Period

Modern Hindi literature has been divided into four phases; the age of the Renaissance (1868-1893), Dwivedi Period (1893-1918), Chhayavada Period (1918-1937) and the Contemporary Period (1937 onwards). Bharatendu Harishchandra (1849-1882) brought in a modern view in Hindi literature and so he is called as the 'Father of Modern Hindi Literature'.

Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi later took up this vision. Dwivedi was a reformist by nature and he brought in a refined style of writing in Hindi poetry, which later acquired a deeper moral tone. Chhayavada Yug (1918-1937) leading poets were Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Balkrishna Shama 'Navin', Siyaram Gupta and 'Dinkar'. The final defended creative autonomy and brought in new poetic content and talent to reflect modern insight. The pioneers of this style were Aggeya, Girija Kumar, Mathur and Dharamvir Bharati. A third style called Personal Lyrics also appeared with Harivansh Rai Bachchan as the leader of this trend.

The Hindi Prose

The appropriate development of Hindi prose followed the rise and growth of Khari Boli (colloquial dialect). Pre-Bharatendu writers like Ram Prasad Niranjani, Sadasukh Lal, Insha Allah Khan and Sadal Misra composed prose mainly based on legendary stories. Insha Allah Khan used the typical Khari Boli while others were more influenced by Sanskrit and Braj Bhasha. The growth of Hindi prose has been classified into three periods: The first phase (1868-1918), the period of growth (1918-1937) and the present age of excellence (1938 onwards).