Tharoor - Sushma War of Words Over Hindi at UN

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Sushma Swaraj reiterated this position and clarified that to make a language official in UN, financial burden has to be borne by all the member countries.

New Delhi: The question hour in Lok Sabha saw External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj take on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on the issue of making Hindi an official language at the UN.

The stated position of the External Affairs Ministry has been that efforts are on to make Hindi one of the official languages in the UN. Sushma Swaraj reiterated this position and clarified that to make a language official in UN, financial burden has to be borne by all the member countries.

Shashi Tharoor who has worked with United Nations before he became a politician said that the current Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister are comfortable speaking in Hindi but tomorrow if the PM or EAM are from Kerela, Bengal or Tamil Nadu, he/she may not want to speak in Hindi.

"Today, India may not mind paying for Hindi translations since PM and EAM speak in that language but it will be difficult to convince other nations to pay for Hindi translations since outside India Hindi is not spoken," Tharoor said.

To this Swaraj took strong objections. "Hindi is spoken in Nepal, Fiji, Surinam and lot of other smaller countries. If you think Hindi is spoken only in India, it shows your lack of knowledge," Swaraj said.

In her written reply Sushma had informed parliament earlier that India is in touch with 129 countries to get their support for making Hindi an official language at the UN.