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UAE recognises Hindi as official court language: Hindi’s entry into Arab world a win for India’s soft power

FE Online

In a major boost for the Hindi language and a recognition of its global footprints, Abu Dhabi has included it as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English. The step has been taken as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.

The decision is aimed at helping Hindi speakers learn about their rights, litigation procedures, duties without any language barrier. It will also help in facilitating registration procedures via unified forms available through the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) website.

Following the inclusion in the list of official languages, claims can be filed before courts in Hindi alongside Arabic and English in labour cases.

The extension comes under the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and ADJD Chairman.

According to official estimates, 2/3rd of UAE’s roughtly five million population are immigrants from foreign countries. The Indian community, numbering 2.6 million, constitutes 30 percent of the total population and is the largest expatriate community in the country.

In 2017, India invited Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day. In February 2018, PM Narendra Modi on an official visit to UAE launched a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

The development is seen as a major boost in terms of India’s soft power reach to the world as well as one of the biggest oil consumers of the world in terms of import. UAE is among countries keen in India’s energy needs and India happens to be a huge market for the Kingdom.

As per government data, UAE continues to be an important supplier of crude, LNG, and LPG to India. UAE is the 5th largest import source and accounts for about 6% of our total crude imports, a 2018 PIB release had stated, adding that UAE is also the 3rd largest source of LPG and POL.

The adoption of Hindi is a part of the bilingual litigation system. The first phase of the system was launched last year in November, through the adoption of procedures requiring the plaintiffs to translate the court case documents in civil and commercial lawsuits into the English language.

Moreover, India in its approach to taking its soft power across the globe promotes Hindi at different levels. Every year on January 10, World Hindi Day is observed with an aim to take the language beyond India. At the national level, Hindi Diwas is observed on September 14.

World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year, which marks the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference held in 1975. World Hindi Day was first observed on January 10 in 2006. On the other hand, National Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on September 14, on this day in 1949, the constituent assembly adopted Hindi, written in Devanagari script, as the official language of the Union. The constituent assembly was formed for the framing of the Indian constitution.

World Hindi Day is to promote the language at the global stage. Hindi Diwas held across the country at a national level, marks adaptation of Hindi, written in Devanagari script as the official language.