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'India ready to pay even Rs 400cr to make Hindi one of UN's official language'

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'India ready to pay even Rs 400cr to make Hindi one of UN's official language'

Thursday, 04 January 2018 | PNS | New Delhi

India is ready to bear all expenses, if necessary up to Rs 400 crore, to make Hindi one of the official languages of the United Nations but its rules for acquiring such a status prevents the country from doing so, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Speaking during the Question Hour, Swaraj quoted rules of United Nations which mandate  support of two-third member countries  (129 nations) out of the total 193 member nations.

Rules also say that all member nations will have to bear the cost of making Hindi one of the official languages of the UN. “It is not difficult to get the support of two-third member nations. 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 languages of the UN,” she said, adding that despite this, the efforts are on.

When a BJP member said that India has to pay Rs 40 crore as cost for making Hindi one of the languages in the UN, the Minister said the Government is ready to pay “even Rs 400 crore if required” but the world body’s rules does not allow to do so.”

Questioning the rationale for pushing Hindi in the UN as an official language, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said it is only India’s official language and not the national language.

“If tomorrow someone from Tamil Nadu or from West Bengal becomes the Prime Minister, why should we force him to speak in Hindi at the UN,” he said.

Tharoor also said Hindi is the official language of only one country - India and not spoken anywhere else.

Effectively countering  the Congress MP, Swaraj said he was unaware and “ignorant” of the fact that Hindi is the official language of Fiji and also spoken widely in Mauritius, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and many other countries, she said.

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