A reply by the Minister for External Affairs during question hour in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday caused Opposition member Shashi Tharoor to ask what is the goal of making Hindi an official language in the United Nations.
Besides, all member nations will have to bear the cost of making Hindi one of the official languages of the UN.
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. Sushma said such recognition required a two-thirds majority vote among the UN's 193 member-countries and for them to share the expenditure.
"It is not hard to get the support of two-third member-nations".More news: Airtel Broadband Users Can Avail Free Amazon Prime Membership for One Year
Replying to questions in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, revealed that the United Nations rule of needing support of at least two-third (129 countries) members necessary to accord any language an official status, is proving to be a dampener. Why do we need an official language in the UN? "Hindi is not the national language, it is an official language".
To that, the senior minister said: "Not just Rs 40 crore, the government is ready to spend Rs 400 crore on it".
"The question is what goal is being served by this", he added. "So for us to be spending government resources in seeking to promote Hindi in this manner raises an important question", he said. She said in Fiji, Hindi is an official language and is also spoken widely in Tobago, Mauritius, Trinidad, Suriname among other countries.
"The question is what objective is being served by this. I understand the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister can speak in Hindi, but what if a future External Affairs Minister comes from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, who couldn't speak in the language?"More news: USA said to fatally bomb Afghan militia
"The government has to defend its position. I understand the pride of Hindi-speaking people, but people of this country who do not speak in Hindi also take pride in being Indian", he added.
Several members of the treasury benches protested after Tharoor finished his statement. If they speak in their own language, we speak in Hindi.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today discussed a range of issues of connectivity, security and cultural cooperation with her Thai counterpart here to keep up with the growing momentum of bilateral ties.More news: TPP: Britain 'looking to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after Brexit'