Hum Hindustani

Written by The Financial Express | Updated: Jan 29 2011, 07:50am hrs
The number of Hindi blogs has increased exponentially over the past 3 years, from just 3,000 in October 2007 to approximately 8,80,000 as of December 2010. The number of Internet users has doubled in the last three years but bloggers in the Hindi language have increased by a factor of nearly 300! A study by Indicus Analytics points to the fact that this is a trend that is growing across regional languages. Not only this, Hindi content now ranks third of all content on Wikipedia, behind English and Mandarin (what they call Chinese). This number would be much higher (the demand exists) were it not for technological constraints, the biggest of which is the lack of availability of keyboards in local languages.

That only 8.1 crore of Indias 100-crore plus people currently have access to the Internet points to the fact that there is huge scope for growth. At a time when all things online are expanding at the speed of light, one of the older (and most credible) sources of Hindi newsBBC Hindi Radiohas been closed due to an unviable revenue model. Some of the biggest news stories from India were first relayed by BBCs service, including the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Perhaps in an age when everything is available at the click of a button, services such as these have outgrown their usefulness. Javed Akhtar recently commented on the need to revive regional languages, especially Hindustanithe mixed Hindi-Urdu that is spoken by the vast majority of North Indians. Well, if the rapid rate of growth of the Hindi blogosphere is anything to go by, the revival seems to be organic.