Hindi alone can unite India, Minister of State for HRD Satyapal Singh said in Agra on Monday, after inaugurating an international auditorium named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Addressing a gathering of linguists, foreign students and local politicians at the Central Hindi Institute, the Minister said: "Only Hindi language can unite the country."
He said the students at the institute were the "true ambassadors of the country".
Singh said it was unfortunate that while countries like China, Germany and Japan did not organise national days after their languages, "we celebrate Hindi Divas".
Hindi, he said, represented the spirit of India, the 5,000-year-old Vedic culture.
"It was Swami Dayanand Saraswati who first popularised Hindi and the first person to speak in Hindi from the Congress platform was Shraddhanand. But few people know about their contribution," he said.
The Minister said it was necessary to promote Hindi globally to popularise Indian culture.
"Hindi was the language of the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi had wished Hindi should be the national language. The time has come to recognise the reality and take concerted action to install Hindi at every level to restore the glory of India," He said.
According to him, the inauguration of an auditorium named after Vajpayee at the Central Hindi Institute "cementing the bonds between the beloved leader with his home district".
The Rs 8.50 crore auditorium has all the modern amenities and can seat 350 persons.
"The Kendriya Hindi Sansthan is a micro global world, with students from 41 countries studying Hindi here," its Director KN Pandey told IANS.
He said the new facility would help organise programmes and activities for the promotion of Hindi at the global level. "Vajpayee was the first to speak in Hindi at the UN and is a great lover of the language."