United Nations can't make Hindi an official language: Sushma Swaraj

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The Lok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed a heated exchange between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, over Hindi being an official language for India in the United Nations, as reported by Economic Times.

The Congress MP and former United Nations official had intervened during Question Hour after Sushma said the government was ready to spend "any amount" to make Hindi an official language at the UN. As per the UN rules, support of two-third member countries (129 nations) is vital out of the total 193 member nations, the minister said in Lower House during Question Hour.

"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. "But when the issue of bearing the expenses comes, many small nations become hesitant which has led to a big hurdle in making Hindi an official language of the UN", she said, adding that despite this, the efforts are on.

Sushma Swaraj, in her reply to a question, said: "It is often asked why Hindi is not an official language in the UN".

"For us to be spending government resources, for seeking to promote Hindi in this goal raises an important question as to why do we need to make it an official language?" asks Tharoor. She stated that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is ready to spend a whopping Rs 400 crore (if necessary) to promote the language. He also said that India is the only country where Hindi was an official language.

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"Hindi is not the national language, it is an official language", said Tharoor. However, she added that spending money would not serve the goal.

"The question is what objective is being served by this".

The statement did not go well with several members of the treasury benches who raised the pitch in protest.

Swaraj said Hindi was spoken in several other countries as well as by the Indian diaspora overseas. "Sushma Ji and all those for Hindi...come learn the South Indians languages.they are lovely", the user tweeted.

The government continues to carefully monitor the flow of the Brahmaputra river for early detection of abnormalities and to ensure that corrective and preventive measures are taken, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.