Language debate

Why should we force a PM from Tamil Nadu or Bengal to speak Hindi at the UN, asks Shashi Tharoor

The Congress’ MP from Thiruvananthapuram opposed the Centre’s bid to make Hindi an official language at the United Nations.

Shashi Tharoor, the Congress’ MP from Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday asked why India should make Hindi one of the languages spoken at the United Nations, PTI reported. Tharoor made the remark after two Bharatiya Janata Party MPs asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament about the steps taken to make Hindi an official language at the UN.

“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?” Tharoor asked during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. He also said that India is the only country where Hindi was an official language.

Responding to Tharoor and the BJP MPs, Swaraj said Hindi was an official language even in Fiji, and was spoken widely in Mauritius, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and many other countries.

However, she said United Nations rules do not allow Hindi to be made an official language at the world body. She said that according to the UN’s rules, the motion to make a language official has to be supported by two-thirds of the body’s members (that is, by 129 out of 193 countries). All member nations have to bear the expenses of making Hindi an official UN language, she said.

“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,” the minister added. “This is a big hurdle in making Hindi an official language at the UN”.

An unidentified BJP MP said India would have to pay Rs 40 crore to the UN make Hindi one of the official languages. “We are ready to pay even Rs 400 crore if required,” Swaraj said. However, she added that the global body’s rules do not permit such payments.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Some of the most significant innovations in automotive history made their debut in this iconic automobile

The latest version features India's first BS VI norms-compliant engine and a host of 'intelligent' features.

The S-Class, also known as Sonderklasse or special class, represents Mercedes Benz’ top-of-the-line sedan line up. Over the decades, this line of luxury vehicles has brought significant automotive technologies to the mainstream, with several firsts to its credit and has often been called the best car in the world. It’s in the S-Class that the first electronic ESP and ABS anti-lock braking system made their debut in the 20th century.

Twenty first-century driver assistance technologies which predict driver-behaviour and the vehicle’s course in order to take preventive safety measures are also now a staple of the S-Class. In the latest 2018 S-Class, the S 350 d, a 360-degree network of cameras, radars and other sensors communicate with each other for an ‘intelligent’ driving experience.

The new S-Class systems are built on Mercedes Benz’s cutting-edge radar-based driving assistance features, and also make use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour. In cities and on other crowded roads, the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC helps maintain the distance between car and the vehicle in front during speeds of up to 210 kmph. In the same speed range, Active Steering Assist helps the driver stay in the centre of the lane on stretches of straight road and on slight bends. Blind Spot Assist, meanwhile, makes up for human limitations by indicating vehicles present in the blind spot during a lane change. The new S-Class also communicates with other cars equipped with the Car-to-X communication system about dicey road conditions and low visibility due to fog, rain, accidents etc. en route.

The new S-Class can even automatically engage the emergency system when the driver is unable to raise an alarm. Active Emergency Stop Assist brings the car to a stop if it detects sustained periods of inactivity from the driver when Active Steering Assist is switched on. If the driver doesn’t respond to repeated visual and audible prompts, it automatically activates the emergency call system and unlocks the car to provide access to first responders.

The new Mercedes-Benz S 350 d in India features another notable innovation – the country’s first BS VI norms-compliant car engine, in accordance with government regulations to control vehicular pollution. Debuting two years before the BS VI deadline of 2020, the S 350 d engine also remains compatible with the current BS IV fuels.

The S 350 d is an intelligent car made in India, for Indian roads - in the Mercedes Benz S-Class tradition. See the video below to know what drives the S-Class series by Mercedes Benz.

To know more about the 2018 S-Class, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mercedes Benz and not by the Scroll editorial team.