Hindi is the National Language of India and the regional language of six states- Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. It is spoken by 437 million people in the world. Hindi is the official language of India.
Hindi can be traced back to as early as the seventh or eighth century. The dialect that has been chosen as the official language is Khariboli in the Devnagari script. Other dialects of Hindi are Brajbhasa, Bundeli, Awadhi, Marwari, Maithili and Bhojpuri.
It was in the 10th century that authentic Hindi poetry took its form and since then it has been constantly modified.
History of Hindi literature as a whole can be divided into four stages: Adikal (the Early Period), Bhaktikal (the Devotional Period), Ritikal (the Scholastic Period) and Adhunikkal (the Modern Period)
- Adikal - The Early Period: Adikal starts from the middle of the 10th century to the beginning of the 14th century.
- Bhakti Kal or The Devotional Period: Bhakti Kal or the Devotional Period stretched between the 14th and the 17th century. During this age Islamic customs were heaped upon the common people, and the Hindus were quite dejected at the effect on their culture.
- Ritikal or The Scholastic Period: The poets of Ritikal or the Scholastic period can be classified into two groups on the basis of their subject: Ritibaddha (those wedded to rhetorics) and Ritimukta (free from rhetorical conventions).
- Modern Hindi Literature: Modern Hindi literature has been divided into four phases; the age of Bharatendu or the Renaissance (1868-1893), Dwivedi Yug (1893-1918), Chhayavada Yug (1918-1937) and the Contemporary Period (1937 onwards).
Bharatendu Harishchandra (1849-1882) brought in a modern outlook in Hindi literature and is thus called the 'Father of Modern Hindi Literature'. Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi later took up this vision. Dwivedi was a reformist by nature and he brought in a refined style of writing in Hindi poetry, which later acquired a deeper moral tone.