Language wars: Sushma Swaraj's fluency in Kannada will surprise you!

Language wars Sushma Swaraj’s fluency in Kannada will surprise you

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Congress member Shashi Tharoor traded barbs in Lok Sabha on Wednesday over making Hindi an official language at the UN. It is also important to note that all the nations have to bear the expense of making Hindi the official language of India.

An unidentified BJP MP said India would have to pay Rs 40 crore to the United Nations make Hindi one of the official languages. She further stated that there are rules in the United Nations that make it hard for Hindi to become the Official language of India because the rules state that the decision should be supported by two thirds of the members.

The Minister explained that as per the procedure, two-thirds of the 193 members of the organisation - which comes to 129 - will have to vote in favour of making Hindi an official language and also share the financial expenditure that would be incurred in the process. "Government continues to make such efforts towards securing due recognition for Hindi at the UN". She added that the government was ready to set aside Rs 400 crore for the objective.

She said that if the rules so permitted, the Indian government is ready to bear the entire expense.

She, however, added that spending money would not serve the objective.

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.

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Tharoor mentioned clearly that if the Foreign Minister or the Prime Minister wants to converse in Hindi in the United Nations, then it is fine, but he asked: "Why should we put our future foreign ministers and prime ministers who may be from Tamil Nadu or West Bengal in (such) a position". Sushma Swaraj called Tharoor ignorant for his remarks and pointed out that Hindi is spoken in Fiji, Mauritius, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Nepal.

"The government has to defend its position".

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

The external affairs minister added that "A World Hindi Secretariat has also been set up in Mauritius in February 2008 to promote Hindi as an global language".

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

"The pre-printed portion of the passport is already in Hindi and English languages".

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