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

Erika Holt
January 12, 2018

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Thursday on the first leg of a three-nation tour that will also take her to Indonesia and Singapore. "Why should we put our future foreign ministers and Prime Ministers who may be from Tamil Nadu or West Bengal in a position where they are condemned to be speaking a language for which we are paying?" he asked. 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.

Sushma Swaraj, claimed that Tharoor was being ignorant, telling him that if he thinks that Hindi language is only spoken in India, then he is being ignorant about the reach of the language.

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". Tharoor asked during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. It is also important to note that all the nations have to bear the expense of making Hindi the official language of India.

"We are working on it, we are making attempts to get support of countries like Fiji, Mauritius, Suriname where people of Indian origin are there", she said. "When we get that kind of support and they are also ready to bear the financial burden, it will become an official language". She added that the government was ready to set aside Rs 400 crore for the objective.

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To that, the senior minister said: "Not just Rs 40 crore, the government is ready to spend Rs 400 crore on it".

He pointed out that Hindi was India's official, not national, language. He demanded to know why we needed an official language at the United Nations at all. "Sushma Ji and all those for Hindi...come learn the South Indians languages.they are lovely", the user tweeted. However, she added that spending money would not serve the goal.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the 10 girls had been flown back to their respective countries soon after their rescue and also thanked the Kenyan Police for its cooperation in the operation.

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