External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor got involved in an argument during the Lok Sabha Session. The discussion was about making Hindi an official language at the United Nations. While Mr. Tharoor questioned the need of making Hindi official language, Mrs. Swaraj called the remark “ignorant”.
What Sushma Swaraj Said
Answering the question as to why Hindi is not an official language at the UN, Sushma Swaraj chose to talk about the procedure of the problem. She explained that as per the procedure, the two-third majority of the members of the organization, i.e. 129 out of 193 members need to vote in favor and also share the expenditure that would be incurred during the process.
Voting in the favor is quite unproblematic but the issue lies with sharing the expenditure of the process, especially for the economically backward countries. She said that India is making efforts to get support from countries like Mauritius, Surinam, and Fiji, where people of Indian origin reside.
She also pointed out that whenever foreign guests visit India and speak their own language, we speak in Hindi. Besides, the External Affairs Ministry has never had so much work done in Hindi as now.
What Shashi Tharoor Said
On the other hand, Mr. Shashi Tharoor argued that what is the need of making Hindi an official language at UN when it’s not even the national language of India. He also cited the example of Arab and said that there are less Hindi speakers as Arabic is spoken in 22 countries but Hindi is an official language of just India.
He also questioned the purpose of the move and said if our Prime Minister or Foreign Minister prefers to speak in Hindi, we can pay for that speech to be translated in Hindi. But if our PM is from Tamil Nadu or West Bengal, why should he be put in such a position. He also stated that those who don’t speak in Hindi also take pride in being an Indian.
To this Mrs. Swaraj pointed out that Hindi is spoken only in India is your ignorance. She mentioned in a written reply that India was in touch with 129 countries to make Hindi the official language at the UN.