Indore: It was in the year 1935 in Hindi heartland of the country that Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for making Hindi a national language .
Gandhiji gave the call while addressing 24th Madhya Bharat Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in Indore.
“I don’t have any problem with English as language but it should be evaluated how much English is required for people of the country as a language,” he had said in his address. He advocated a two language policy in the country with Hindi at national level as mother tongue and regional language at regional level.
Mahatma’s call had led to prominent people of the city like Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar, Seth Hukumchand and several others donate Rs one lakh to him for promotion of Hindi language. Gandhiji then sent his son Gopal Das along with one of his accomplices to Chennai for promotion of Hindi in South India. With this fund, Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Samiti was established in Chennai.
Gandhiji had visited Indore earlier also during 8th Madhya Bharat Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1918. That year, he had received a donation of Rs10,000 from people to establish a Hindi prachar samiti in Wardha, Maharashtra.
Besides Indore, he had visited other places in Madhya Pradesh at least 24 times during his lifetime. They include Bhopal, Jabalpur, Sagar, Katni, Itarsi, Balaghat, Mandla, Chhindwara, Harda, Khandwa, Burhanpur, and Damoh.
Talking about the debate raging over Hindi language today, editor of Vaani magazine published by Madhya Bharat Hindi Sahitya Samiti, Rakesh Sharma, said that it was all politically motivated and not much should be read into it. “The advent of social media has helped in promotion of Hindi language. Today, even though people write Hindi in Roman script on social media, it is only helping it spread further,” said Sharma.