In a fast-shrinking world, being multilingual definitely gives you an edge over others. India has taken rapid strides in pursuing both foreign and Indian languages with Hindi as a dominant language. A large number of people today like to read, write and communicate in Hindi. Coca-Cola has a stylish campaign in ‘Thanda matlab Coca-Cola’ (Cool means Coca–Cola), making it amply evident that if you want to catch the India’s attention, you’d better use Hindi.
Practically, all universities have Hindi honours as a prominent course.
In the University of Delhi, the course contains 12 main papers and five interdisciplinary ones. Poetics help students develop a critical aptitude for poetry and prose.
They also study modern medieval and ancient poetry, essays, novels, biographies, stories, drama, history of Hindi literature and linguistics etc.
First and second-year students also have other papers such as English or another Indian language, interdisciplinary courses such as human rights, environmental issues in India, reading Gandhi, nationalism and literature.
Third-year students have options for skill development in a special field such as poetry, functional Hindi, media studies, linguistics, theatre, and translation. These could also help them in competitive examinations and get jobs in academics or media studies, as translators and scriptwriters. Some colleges also offer a vocational course in Hindi under the BA programme, called functional Hindi. It offers Hindi computer (typing), Hindi shorthand, media writing, advertisement translation, and creative writing.
The course is also fast becoming a pre-requisite for a successful career in electronic journalism.
Hindi can take students to universities in SAARC countries, south-east Asia, Europe and America.
Hindi departments over there are not only teaching Hindi as a language but also conducting research. Many foreign students now take a keen interest in this subject.
Exchange programmes have also been effective in promoting Hindi in these countries.
Skill sets required
* A love for the language
* Strong verbal ability - both written and spoken
The author is assistant professor, Department of Hindi, Miranda House