Row over Hindi: JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, Congress' Shashi Tharoor attack Centre over incident

South India

He asked how much more people of other languages including Kannadigas have to sacrifice in this country for not knowing Hindi

Criticism against AYUSH secretary's alleged conduct for asking non-Hindi participants to leave a training programme in Delhi is gaining momentum with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy strongly flayed the Centre for the incident.

In a scathing attack, Kumaraswamy asked whether incident was done with shameless excitement to impose Hindi on others.

The former Karnataka Chief Minister asked how much more people of other languages including Kannadigas have to sacrifice in this country for not knowing Hindi.

During an online training session held by the AYUSH department a couple of days ago, its secretary Rajesh Kotecha reportedly asked the participants, who did not understand Hindi, to leave the session citing his inability to speak English.

In a series of tweets in Kannada, Kumaraswamy said constitutional federalism was the mantra of this country's unity and every language is part of the federal structure.

Kumaraswamy asked, “Is this a request for not knowing English or a shameless excitement to impose Hindi?"

Tharoor in his attack on the Centre in the backdrop of this incident, termed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the "tukde-tukde" (divisive) gang.

"It's extraordinary when a Secretary of GoI tells Tamils to leave a webinar if they can't understand his Hindi! If the govt has any decency he should be replaced by a Tamil civil servant forthwith! Is the tuke-tukde gang now in power determined to destroy India's hard-won unity?" he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Kotecha came out with a clarification that the certain uninvited participants intruded into the conference of AYUSH trainers and were repeatedly asking him to speak in English, reported The Print.

He alleged that the video clip involving the controversial part was morphed and said that he used both the languages in his training sessions.

On Saturday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi sought action against Kotecha for the incident.

She said that all Union government events should be held in English and English translation should be provided to people when it is conducted in Hindi.

She also shot a letter to MoS Shripad Naik saying, "An incident of the imposition of Hindi has taken place during a webinar conducted by the AYUSH Ministry. It is in clear violation of our constitutional principles."

"During the event, it has been reported that the Union Secretary of 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.

Early this month, Kanimozhi was asked by a security personnel at an airport if she was not an Indian when she said that she did not know Hindi.

This had sparked a controversy and she had lodged a complaint with the Centre in this regard.

Image credit: The News Minute

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