Community organizations joined Indian Consulate to celebrate Hindi Day in New York

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New York Randhir Jaiswal, speaking at the Hindi Day celebrations held Sept. 16, 2022, at the Consulate. Photo: organizers

Community organizations joined the Indian Consulate in New York to celebrate Hindi Day and commemorate the inclusion of Hindi 73 years ago as the ‘official language of the Indian Union’ on September 14, 1949.

India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, complimented Hindi professionals in the United States for their “untiring efforts” to promote Hindi, adding that his office was committed to supporting efforts to promote Hindi and other Indian languages. The publication of ‘Ananya’, an online literary magazine was among such initiatives by his office.

The Consul General shared a message from India’s Home Minister Amit Shah, about steps taken by the Government of India for promoting Hindi under the new language policy of the Indian government, a press release said.

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The Consul General complimented Anoop Bhargava, a noted Hindi poet and the Managing Editor of ‘Ananya’ for his time and devotion to Hindi literature. He also complimented Ashok Ojha for winning the 2022 Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad and promised to continue supporting such efforts that promoted Hindi and other Indian language in the U.S.

Audience at the Sept. 16, 2022, Hindi Day celebrations at the Indian Consulate in New York. Photo: organizers

Bhargava noted in his speech that ‘Ananya’ was now published in Russia, Australia, Kenya and Tanzania, and each carried the culture and literature of the countries it was published from to inform readers around the world. “We are able to bring the literature of respective countries in Hindi,” he said.

Poppy Chanalia, a Boston-based artiste and poet, presented a framed art work of India’s national emblem to the Consul General. She later recited some poetry.

The event started with a poem on Hindi by Purnima Desai, chairperson, Hindi Sangam Foundation and Shikshyatan, a New York-based cultural organization headed by her. She thanked the Consulate for supporting International Hindi Conferences held since 2014 under the auspices of Hindi Sangam Foundation and the Consulate General of India.

Former New Jersey State Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, currently commissioner at NJ Utilities, and chairperson, Yuva Hindi Sansthan, complimented the Hindi teachers of Yuva Hindi Sansthan for their dedication to the language. He appealed to Indian communities to motivate their children to join Hindi classes.

Ashok Ojha, Director,YHS Fulbright-Hays Program 2022. Photo: courtesy organizers

Ashok Ojha, president, Yuva Hindi Sansthan, and program director, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program said that Yuva Hindi Sansthan, Inc., was awarded the program by the U.S. Department of education to conduct a 4-week Study Tour in India. It was supported by NYU, UT- Austin (UTA), and Michigan State University. He said that the active support of Consulate General of India was vital for the program’s success. He thanked the U.S. Department of Education for supporting the development of competent language curricula for U.S.-based learners and appealed to parents to motivate their children for learning Hindi.

Hindi received an official status in the Constitution of India on September 14, 1949 after a long debate in the Constituent Assembly of India. English, which was supposed to be phased out in 15 years, was however, continued as the ‘de facto formal language’ of India after 1965, the press release noted.

Students who participated at the event seen in photo with their teacher Mira Singh. Photo: courtesy organizers

Students from the Philadelphia-based Antarrashtriya Hindi Sahitya Pravah, headed by Mira Singh, performed cultural items at the event. Sonia Sharma, a Stanford Hindi teacher, also spoke on the occasion. Sunita Dubey and Hiral Mehta performed on behalf of Yuva Hindi Sansthan. Akhila Sekar, secretary, YHS conducted the activities on behalf of YHS and proposed a vote of thanks.

Others who attended the event included, Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph and Head of Chancery Suman Singh, both from the Indian Consulate; Veer Munshi, artist; Rakesh Ranjan, Columbia University’s Hindi professor; and Rajni Bhargava, Hindi teacher at New York University.

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