Sushma Swaraj, Shashi Tharoor trade barbs over Hindi

Sushma Swaraj and Shashi Tharoor

Sushma Swaraj and Shashi Tharoor

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wants Hindi to be one of the official languages spoken at the United Nations (UN). Article 343 of the Constitution makes it very clear that Hindi is an official language. Tharoor also said that while Arabic is spoken in 22 countries, Hindi is only used as official language by one country-India.

Therefore, according to the UN rules, support of two-third member-countries (129 nations) is required out of the total 193 member-nations, Ms Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour. She also noted the problem isn't that they won't get the support of two thirds of members, but it is that the small nations becomes hesitant to bear the expense of making Hindi the official language of India.

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.

Swaraj said the government would readily spend even Rs 400 crore on this, when pointed out the process of making Hindi an official language would incur an expenditure of Rs 40 crores.

She, however, added that spending money would not serve the objective. If, indeed, we have a Prime Minister or a foreign minister who prefers to speak Hindi, they can do so and we can pay for that speech to be translated. While the PM or foreign minister were free to speak in Hindi and take pride in it if they wanted to, Tharoor said there was no need to impose the language on future leaders who may represent non-Hindi speaking states. The minister replied back and said, "I am proud of all Indian languages". Seeking to promote Hindi raises an important question.

The statement did not go well with several members of the treasury benches who raised the pitch in protest. "Sushma Ji and all those for Hindi...come learn the South Indians languages.they are attractive", the user tweeted.

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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