Hindi wants on the “next world language” bandwagon with Mandarin:
New Delhi, August 19, 2006
India has said that Hindi should be included as one of the languages used
by the United Nations as it was spoken by a substantial percentage of the
world population. Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said
that an international Hindi conference would be held in New York early
next year as part of efforts to popularise further the language in the
Wikipedia says there are 400 million speakers of Hindi. However, we know that “world language status” isn’t solely a matter of the number of speakers.
Hindi and Urdu are very similar and mutually intelligible, though they’re different sociopolitically. (Another similar pair is Norwegian/Swedish; for more on language taxonomy, at least see my piece on Ethnologue here.) But I doubt Urdu will get world language status, too — for all that Pakistan might be, India is the new superpower.