Shashi Tharoor and Swaraj spar over Hindi as official language at UN

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj

Tharoor made the remark after two Bharatiya Janata Party MPs asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament about the steps taken to make Hindi an official language at the UN.

Replying to questions in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, revealed that the United Nations rule of needing support of at least two-third (129 countries) members necessary to accord any language an official status, is proving to be a dampener. "I understand the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister can speak in Hindi, but what if a future External Affairs Minister comes from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, who couldn't speak in the language?" Tharoor also said Hindi is the official language of only one country ~ India ~ while other official languages in the United Nations are spoken in several countries.

She also said India intends to "remain engaged with China on the issue of trans-border rivers to safeguard our interest, including through an institutionalised expert-level mechanism which was established in 2006". As per the UN rules, support of two-third member countries (129 nations) is vital out of the total 193 member nations, the minister said in Lower House during Question Hour. We are working on it, we are making attempts to get the support of countries like Fiji, Mauritius, Surinam... where people of Indian origin are there.

"The government is ready to spend any amount for the pride attached with raj bhasha (national language)", she said.

He pointed out that Hindi was India's official, not national, language.

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She said that if the rules so permitted, the Indian government is ready to bear the entire expense. "So for us to be spending government resources in seeking to promote Hindi in this manner raises an important question", he said. She added, money would, however, not serve the objective.

In response, Sushma said, "I am proud of all Indian languages".

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

Sushma Swaraj said Hindi was spoken in several other countries as well as by the Indian diaspora overseas. In America, NRIs speak Hindi even today.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the most celebrated Indian politician on social media, is not just an ardent lover of Hindi but masters many other national languages and this video is a proof.

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