Moturi Satyanarayana was born 116 years ago. He was a Constituent Assembly Member from the Madras Province on the Congress party ticket and served in the Assembly from 1948 to 1950.
From his early years, Satyanarayana was drawn towards the Hindi language and worked diligently towards popularising Hindi in South India. He was an active member of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha.This Sabha was founded by MahatmaGandhi in 1918 to popularize Hindi in South India. It was recognized by the Central Government as an institute of National Importance in 1964.Satyanarayana was an editor of several Hindi magazines including Hindi Pracharak, Hindi PracharSamachar, Dakshin Bharat.
He made very few interventions in the Constituent Assembly and they were mostly around the issue of language. He went on to note: It is my conviction that all the speeches in this Assembly should be delivered in Hindustani. He advocated for Hindi being made the National language. He argued that the Constitution must first be drafted in Indian languages in order to ensure that the poor and illiterate are involved in the constitution making process.
In 1949 the Constituent Assembly had to decide the question of the official language of India. There were demands for making Hindi the official language which was opposed by some, who were looking to make English the official language. The Drafting Committee set up a Special Committee to come up with a compromise provision and Satyanarayana, along with Munshi, Ambedkar, T.T. Krishnamachari, were its members.
After a heated discussion in the Constituent Assembly, on 14th September 1949, the Assembly adopted Hindi in Devanagari script as India’s official language.
Central Hindi Institute, Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India instituted an award in Satyanarayana’s honour, the Padmabhushan Moturi Satyanarayan Award, which aims to promote Hindi literature and writing abroad.Read his biographical details here.