Having made signal contribution to the freedom struggle, Tamil Nadu must be in the vanguard in promoting teaching of our national language Hindi, Justice V.S. Malimath, Chancellor & President Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai, said here on Sunday.

The national poet Subramania Bharathi in his article Young India published in 1905 had emphasised the need and importance of our people learning Hindi, Justice Malimath said, while delivering the convocation address at the 13th Visharad Convocation of Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Tamil Nadu.

"We must remember that Hindi has a place of pride in the languages spoken in the world, the language spoken by the third largest number of people in the world next only to Chinese and English. Hindi is spoken by the largest number of people in India." Justice Malimath said.

Founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1918, the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha has a unique and distinguished heritage and enjoys a pride of place in the nation. People of South India are fortunate that they are blessed with such a great institution to foster teaching of Hindi to our people. "We must take full advantage of the same and become active participants in the nation building activity", Justice Malimath pointed out.

It was after an enormous struggle and great sacrifices that we were able to break the shackles of slavery and become a free and independent nation. People from all parts of India joined the freedom struggle irrespective of their religion, caste, creed or language.

"People of India must live together as members of one family if we have to preserve Independence and maintain unity and integrity of our nation. It is for this reason that the founding fathers of our constitution chose Hindi our national language", Justice Malimath said. He congratulated the students for attaining proficiency in Hindi.

Visharad degree certificates were distributed to over 3,000 students on the occasion. Rank holders of the exam and four senior Pracharaks were honoured on the occasion.

The president, Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Tamil Nadu A.P.C.V. Chokkalingam presided over the convocation. R.F. Nirlakatti, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Post Graduate and Research Institute, Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai, First Vice President of Tamil Nadu Sabha S. Arunachalam, M.S. Muralidharan, Second Vice President of the Sabha, Chennai, General Secretary C.N.V. Annamalai and Second Vice President of the Tamil Nadu Sabha S. Ravindran and others participated in the programme.