Hindi (Hindi: हिन्दी hindī), sometimes spelled हिंदी, also called Modern Standard Hindi (Hindi: मानक हिन्दी mānak hindī), is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Hindi is the official language of the Union of India.
In the 2001 Indian census, 258 million people in India reported Hindi to be their native language. However, this number includes tens of millions of people who are native speakers of related languages but who consider their speech to be a dialect of Hindi.
Hindi is the fourth most natively spoken language in the world after Mandarin, Spanish and English.
Article 343 (1) of the Indian constitution states:
Article 351 of the Indian constitution states
It was envisioned that Hindi would become the sole working language of the Union Government by 1965 (per directives in Article 344 (2) and Article 351), with state governments being free to function in the language of their own choice. However, widespread resistance to the imposition of Hindi on non-native speakers, especially in South India (such as the those in Tamil Nadu), Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, led to the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1963, which provided for the continued use of English indefinitely for all official purposes, although the constitutional directive for the Union Government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained and has strongly influenced its policies.