Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United Nations can't make Hindi an official language: Sushma Swaraj

United Nations can't make Hindi an official language: Sushma Swaraj

A war of words has erupted between Indian politician Shashi Tharoor and India's Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj over making Hindi an official language at the United Nations.

He said Hindi was an official language and not a national language and there was no need to make it an official language at the UN.

According to the UN rules, support of two-third member countries (129 nations) is required out of the total 193 member nations, Swaraj said during Question Hour.

"It is not hard to get the support of two-third member nations".

"When we get that kind of support and they are also ready to bear the financial burden, it will become an official language", she said.

Sushma Swaraj explained that the procedure is long and requires two-thirds of the 193 member countries of the United Nations to vote in favour of Hindi being an official language in the United Nations, and also share the resulting financial expenditure in the process.

"What goal is being served by this?" "Hindi is not the national language, it is an official language".

He further added that any future Foreign Ministers and Prime Ministers who did not prefer to communicate in Hindi, would be put in a hard spot and that would be unfair. "All the.countries where there have been Indian origin rulers - Mauritius, Fiji, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ghana - there are Indian-origin Hindi-speaking people too". "If tomorrow someone from Tamil Nadu or from West Bengal becomes the PM, why should we force him to speak in Hindi at the UN", Tharoor said. "So for us to be spending government resources in seeking to promote Hindi in this manner raises an important question", he said.

Several members of the treasury benches protested after Tharoor finished his statement.

Swaraj hit back at Tharoor and said Hindi is spoken in many other countries as well.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today discussed a range of issues of connectivity, security and cultural cooperation with her Thai counterpart here to keep up with the growing momentum of bilateral ties. "Sushma Ji and all those for Hindi...come learn the South Indians languages.they are lovely", the user tweeted.

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