"Official language Hindi unites the nation in the thread of unity. Hindi is a friend of all Indian languages. Modi's government is committed for the parallel development of all local languages including Hindi. I salute the great personalities who have contributed in the preservation and promotion of Hindi. Happy 'Hindi Diwas' to all," Shah tweeted in Hindi.

The minister's views came hours before taking part in the second All India Official Language Conference organised on the occasion of Hindi Diwas in Surat.

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Every year Hindi Diwas is observed on 14 September. The day is dedicated to the Hindi language after it was announced as the official language of the Union of India.

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, had officially declared 14 September as the Hindi Diwas.

The Constituent Assembly of India declared Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, to be the official language of the Union of India on 14 September, 1949. English is the second official language.

The decision of using Hindi as an official language of India was legalised by the Constitution of India on 26 January, 1950.

Hindi was made one of the official languages in order to streamline government operations in a multilingual nation.

Spoken as a native language by 258 million people, Hindi is recognised as the fourth most spoken language in the world.

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