Indian High Commissioner in New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, is making a passionate plea to the Kiwi-Indian community to participate in the World Hindi Conference 2018, to be held August 18-20, in Mauritius.
Speaking to The Indian Weekender, High Commissioner, Sanjiv Kohli extended Government of India’s invitation to the members of the Indian diaspora in NZ to participate in 11th World Hindi Congress.
“There are so many individuals who are deeply passionate and committed about promoting learning of Hindi in New Zealand.
“The world Hindi conference is a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other,” Mr Kohli said.
It is important to note that currently work on the international meet is underway with great enthusiasm and energy in the Ministry of External Affairs, to make this eleventh edition a mega success.
In the recent past, many Indian Ministers visiting this part of the world had made it a point to extend the invitation to the members of the Indian diaspora to participate in World Hindi Conference.
Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Jaswantsinh Bhabhor and Minister of State for Health and Family Affairs, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, had extended an invitation to members of the Indian diaspora in NZ, Fiji and Samoa, to come and attend the World Hindi Congress.
Appeal to community organisations for support
Mr Kohli, demonstrating an accurate understanding and empathy toward experts and Hindi-enthusiasts who work passionately for the promotion of Hindi language, especially among the younger generation of Kiwi-Indian community said, “I am also aware that many of those involved with the actual work on the ground may not be in a position to travel for a variety of reasons including funding.”
Mr Kohli envisaged that some leading community organisations could step up and provide sponsorship to some of the prominent workers engaged in the promotion of the Hindi language in New Zealand.
“I think some of our [community] organisations can act as sponsors as an acknowledgement of the work that these individuals have been putting in for decades,” Mr Kohli appealed.
After Yoga, Indian government to promote the Hindi language at global level
Many observers of Indian politics believe that after Yoga, the Indian government is keen to promote the Hindi language at the global level as a facet of India’s soft power.
According to some estimates, the Hindi language is the third largest spoken language around the world (698 million speakers) after English (1.12 billion speakers) and Mandarin (1.10 billion speakers).
However, in terms of people speaking Hindi language as second language, other than their mother tongue, (368 million) exceeds that of Mandarin speakers (198 million).
According to some reports in media, the conference in Mauritius is likely to produce directives to increase the popularity of Hindi globally, especially within United Nations.
World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) – Mauritius
For the uninitiated, the World Hindi Conference is a major event organised every three years by the Government of India under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The concept of World Hindi Conference was mooted by the Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Wardha in 1973.
In furthering the concept, the first World Hindi Conference was organised from 10-12 January 1975 in Nagpur, India under the aegis of the Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti.
Since then ten editions had been held at places like Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Suriname, South Africa, and the United States.
The 10th edition was held in Bhopal, India.
The World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) was established after a joint agreement between the government of India and Mauritius, which began officially operational on February 11, 2008.
Since then the Secretariat is working toward the goal of promoting the Hindi language at the global level.