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How will Hindi benefit Indian leaders at UN who can't speak it: Tharoor

Tharoor had said India should not make any such effort as Hindi is only India's official language and not the national language.

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur 

Constitution and Upadhyay cannot go hand in hand, says Tharoor at JLF

today defended his stance against making Hindi an official language at the United Nations, saying the move would not be of any help to leaders who cannot speak the language.

and had earlier this month traded barbs in the Lok Sabha over making Hindi an official language at the UN.

Swaraj's assertion that the government was ready to bear all expenses to get Hindi the status of official language at the UN had led to question the purpose of it.

Tharoor had said should not make any such effort as Hindi is only India's official language and not the language.

"I was only responding in the Lok Sabha to Sushma Swarajs remark that is ready to bear all expenses, if necessary up to Rs. 400 crore, to make Hindi one of the official languages of the UN... I was trying to make clear the difficulties that Indian leaders will face because of this move," he said at the Literature Festival.

Tharoor cited examples of regional leaders, such as P Chidambaram or Pranab Mukherjee, whose mother tongue is not Hindi, to drive his point home.

"The whole point of delivering a speech at the UN is to make other understand your point of view, if you make a speech in Hindi who will understand your point. And what if you want to make a persuasion?

"If you want that P Chidambaram or represent at the UN in the future, how will your Rs 4 billion help because these leaders cannot deliver a speech in Hindi," the said.

Tharoor, who was formerly the at the UN, said Hindi is "not the language of India. Though with the Bollywoods popularity, some Hindi is also being understood in the South which is a good thing".

He said if Hindi was given top priority, 50-55 per cent people will be at a disadvantage.

"The rest of the section which knows the language and have spoken it since their birth will be benefitted and the country will be become theirs, how is it fair?" he asked.

Tharoor said had witnessed riots in the past over the issue of language.

Talking about the atrocities committed by the British empire in India, the said the colonial Britains actions like deindustrialization were unprecedented in nature.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he did not believe the Kohinoor would be returned by the British, "because if it happens then other 120 countries would ask for their items. If that happens the museums in Britain will be empty".

There are many museums in the UK, but no colonial UK museum has a chor bazaar in it," he added.

First Published: Sun, January 28 2018. 18:55 IST