DMK leader Kanimozhi writes to Shripad Naik over 'Hindi imposition' at AYUSH ministry's event

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DMK MP Kanimozhi has hit out at reports that Ayush Ministry Secretary Rajesh Kotecha asked non-Hindi speaking yoga teachers and medical practitioners to exit a central government webinar if they did not speak or understand the language.

 

She also sought the suspension of Union AYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha for allegedly asking participants who did not understand Hindi to leave an online training session.

Kanimozhi Karunanidhi wrote to Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik urging him to immediately order an inquiry into the incident of "Hindi imposition" during a virtual training event conducted by his ministry.

She also urged to take actions against all officials who have acted in a manner "discriminating our fellow citizens on the basis of language".

"I write this letter to bring to your attention an incident of the imposition of Hindi, in violation of our constitutional principles, which has taken place during a virtual training event/webinar conducted by the Union Ministry of AYUSH," read the letter by Kanimozhi.

"During the event, it has been reported that the Union Secretary to the Government, Ministry of AYUSH, has told non-Hindi speaking participants to leave the meeting if they did not understand Hindi and continued to speak in Hindi," she added.

The DMK MP, seeking an inquiry into the matter, claimed that the issue has been reported in various newspapers and the video has surfaced in Social Media, where the Secretary's remarks can be heard clearly.

"I urge you to immediately order an inquiry into the above mentioned incident and take actions against all officials who have acted in a manner discriminating our fellow citizens on the basis of language. Furthermore, I urge you to direct the officials in your ministry to make sure that all the official events are conducted in English and wherever Hindi is used, corresponding translation in English be provided for the same," the letter said.

Kanimozhi also pointed out that Hindi and English are official languages of the Union and there is 22 languages list as Official Languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

She then went on to remind Mr Naik about "the promise made by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru... on the floor of the Lok Sabha that as long as non-Hindi speaking states require English as an associate language, it will continue

"I would like to remind you about the promise made by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 7th August 1959 on the floor of the Lok Sabha that as long as the non-Hindi speaking states require English as an associate language, it will continue for an indefinite period," she stated.

She also asked that all officials of the ministry be directed to conduct all meetings in English, with translations to be made in Hindi wherever and whenever needed.

Meanwhile, Kotecha denied the allegation and told the media that he had made it clear that he would speak in both English and Hindi. 

He told The Hindu that in a 10-minute introductory speech, he began to speak in Hindi, but made it clear that he would be speaking in both English and Hindi.

He alleged that some “hooligans”, who had joined the programme, disrupted the event, insisting he speak only in English. Alleging that a video doing the rounds on social media has been manipulated, he said he requested participants to stop disrupting the programme and leave.

According to the  Indian Express report, there were nearly 40 participants from Tamil Nadu among the 300-odd from different states who participated in sessions on naturopathy and Yoga during August 18-20, organised by the ministry along with the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga for Master Trainers of Yoga. Participants from Tamil Nadu claimed that several sessions were in Hindi, barring a few trainers who tried to translate portions in English.

Earlier this month, Kanimozhi alleged that an official had asked her at the airport whether she was an Indian as she could not speak Hindi.

On August 9, MP Kanimozhi alleged that a CISF personnel at Chennai airport questioned her nationality for not knowing Hindi. The DMK MP took to Twitter to inform about the incident. 

The query was posed to her by the Central Industrial Security Force woman officer when Kanimozhi asked the former to speak to her either in Tamil or English.

The DMK leader put out a tweet over the issue, expressing her anguish over the incident.

"Today at the airport a CISF officer asked me if "I am an Indian" when I asked her to speak to me in Tamil or English as I did not know Hindi. I would like to know from when being Indian is equal to knowing Hindi," she had tweeted.
She posted the tweet along with the hashtag #hindiimposition.

After Kanimozhi tweeted about the incident, CISF ordered an enquiry into the matter.

 

Image credit: The Indian Express

 

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