Hindi and Vajpayee

Today is World Hindi Day, that is celebrated on the 10th January every year, for promoting the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of Hindi and its speakers around the world.

It also marks the anniversary of the first time that Hindi was spoken in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1949. It’s different from National Hindi Day celebrated on 14th September to mark the adoption of Hindi as the official language of India.

When we talk of Hindi and UNGA, the contribution of the former Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee cannot be forgotten.

As the external affairs minister of India, he was the first to deliver a speech in Hindi at the UNGA’s 32nd session on October 4, 1977, effectively raising India’s stand on key issues like nuclear disarmament, state-sponsored terrorism and reforms at the world body.

He touched the subject of the non-aligned movement and said that the India “stands firmly for peace and friendship with all countries, citing the vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakumthe world is one family.”

Mr Vajpayee was the force behind uplifting Hindi to the international platform by using the language at the UN each time he delivered a speech.

And when we talk of Atal ji, can his  poems be far behind? I share a few lines of his famous poem, ‘Maut Se Than Gayi’ (It was death I faced). It
was an obituary Mr Vajpayee wrote for himself while battling death in a hospital in the US, contemplating on life’s biggest question – that of death.

This poem reminds us that life is a vital force, above everything else, and that every man has a right to it, regardless of conflict. His existential retrospection teaches us lessons in compassion for life, and of bravery against odds.

‘मौत से ठन गई’ (It was death I faced)

जूझने का मेरा इरादा न था,
मोड़ पर मिलेंगे इसका वादा न था।

रास्ता रोक कर वह खड़ी हो गई,
यों लगा ज़िन्दगी से बड़ी हो गई।

मौत की उमर क्या है? दो पल भी नहीं,
ज़िन्दगी सिलसिला, आज कल की नहीं।

मैं जी भर जिया, मैं मन से मरूँ,
लौटकर आऊँगा, कूच से क्यों डरूँ?


I was not eager to fight back,
Neither was prepared for a rendezvous.

But there she stopped, holding my path,
She seemed larger than life.

How long lasts death? – Not even a moment,
Life, however, is a continuum.

Alive I was with the grandest vibes, I’ll die in peace,
I shall return, why should I be afraid of departure?

–Kaushal Kishore


  1. Thank you, Kaushal, for writing about this very special day. Your post is Illuminating the importance of the language that descended from the early
    Sanskrit (around 7th century CE), it is called Hindi – belonging to India, the oldest civilization in the world, over 10,000 years old. The noble efforts of
    Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former PM of India has to be admired as by the
    use of Hindi in his speeches in the US, he made the world focus on the importance and beauty of the Hindi language.
    The motto on the wall of the Indian Parliament – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum ” – the world is one family, is imprinted on my heart and I use it in my posts.
    Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem is poignant and worth memorizing
    His imaginary obituary was premature as he lived to the good age of 93.
    Your words, Kaushal, about life’s importance should be thought to children
    as life is a precious gift to cherish.
    Thank you for the presentation! And also, for extending through your posts my knowledge of your beautiful language.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for this elaborate response. You know a lot about India and its culture and traditions. That shows your love for this country.
      You’re right, Sanskrit is considered to be the mother of all languages. In almost every language, you can find some words lifted from Sanskrit. It was initially preserved orally, but Panini standardised into a classical language by defining grammar. Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism were written in Sanskrit.
      As regards Mr Vajpayee, I had my personal respects for him. He wrote obituary prematurely, but the same was used extensively as an obituary when he died. Thank you, Joanna, for your kind words for this post. Much appreciated!


  2. Thank you for sharing and for another awesome cultural lesson, dear KK!! It’s always a treat to read the history you share. Absolutely love the poem, and the use of “rendezvous” in it. Amazingly done as always, my friend 🤍🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Grace, for your kind words. It’s always my pleasure to share some important facts about the country I live in. I’m elated that you liked it.. Greatly appreciated 😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know Hindi, but I am learning a bit of Thai right now. Since about one third to a half of Thai’s vocab comes from Sanskrit, the precursor to Hindi (so I heard), I somehow knows a little bit of the beauty of it. Thai add prefix to change verb to noun, add a fixed word to start a clause etc. These things did exist in the family of language before, but is added due to the fact Thai introduced a lot of Buddhist script into their own language… If I have time, I would love to go into the influence of languages…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know Thai, but Sanskrit is considered to be the mother of languages. It’s the primary sacred language of Hinduism, and has been extensively used as a philosophical language in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Being a Buddhist country, Thailand must be using many words of Sanskrit. Sanskrit was thought by NASA to be the language best suited for creating computer codes. It’s really very interesting to know about the origin and structure and interrelationships of languages. Thank you, Haoyan for reading and sharing your beautiful reflections.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy World Hindi Day. He sounds like a very wise man. He had a beautiful smile and also wrote a lovely poem. Have an especially blessed and wonderful day and enjoy your Holiday. Thank you for sharing this with us. Great big hugs. 🦋🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joni for your kind wishes that mean a lot to me. I’m glad you liked the post. As regards Mr Vajpayee, he was a man of letters, and a fine human being. By profession he was a politician, but he was a poet at heart. He had written several heartwarming, touching and patriotic poems. Much love to you ❤️💐


    1. Yes, Narayan ji, Atal ji was a different person altogether. More persons like him need to take plunge into politics. Thank you!


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