It’s a fact that many of us don’t know… that we in India actually celebrate a day a called Hindi Diwas on the 14th of September every year, to promote Hindi as a language of the common mass. And this is not something that has started overnight. For years the Hindi Cell has been organizing a “Hindi Week”.
This year the “Hindi Week” started on the 8th and concluded on the 14th of September .The opening ceremony held in the SN Bose Auditorium was graced by dignitaries like the acting Director Prof V. R. Kalvey (the chief guest), Mr. Shakeel Ahmed (the guest of honour) who is the DRM South Eastern railway, Prof. H. R. Tewari, (Chairman, Hindi Cell) and Prof. Bani Chatterjee, who delivered the welcome speech.
Mr. Shakeel Ahmed regretted that even after 58 years of independence “Hindi Weeks”, “Hindi Days” and seminars have to be organised to promote and publicize the national language. During the week a plethora of events were organised, starting with the ever popular antakshari, followed by events like Natya Manchan (one act play), Nibandh Lekhan (essay writing), Elocution, Debate, Creative writing and Kavya aur Gadya path (poem and prose reading). Apart from the IIT students, students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, DAV and Hijli schools and IIT employees also participated in some of the events.
In events like Nibandh Lekhan, even non-Hindi speaking employees of IIT were encouraged to participate. According to Prof. H. R. Tewari, though, the participation from these different groups were promising, it needs a lot of improvement.
The participation from IIT students was particularly low, probably owing to the proximity of the event to the mid-semester examinations.
For instance in Natya Manchan only two teams turned up. Cash prizes of Rs. 1000 in total were given away in each of the events. In group events Rs.600 and Rs.400 were given to teams who stood 1st and 2nd respectively. In the individual events the distribution was Rs.500, Rs.300 and Rs.200 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners.
The closing ceremony was held on 14th September in S.N. Bose auditorium. Prof. Shishir Kumar Dube was in the chair and Prof. Suresh Chandra Upadhyaya from IIT Delhi, was present as the chief guest. Prof. Upadhyaya said that because of the short term vision of the politicians over the years, Hindi doesn’t get the proper respects it deserves. Prof. Upadhyaya also released a new monthly newsletter “Jharokha”, published by the Hindi Cell. Prizes were distributed amongst the winners by Prof. Shishir Kumar Dube followed by the closing speech by Prof. Vijay Nath Giri.
Hindi Cell apart from organising “Hindi Week” has also been actively involved in promoting Hindi in several other ways. It has organised workshops and invited eminent speakers from outside the institute in the past. It is also building up a rich library and has celebrated birth anniversaries of eminent writers like Munshi Premchand on a grand scale.