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AYUSH Secretary says non-Hindi participants can leave meeting, sparks row

The statement elicited a sharp reaction from Kanimozhi and Karti Chidambaram, who said the insistence of speaking in Hindi was "totally unacceptable".

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, New Delhi |
Updated: August 22, 2020 5:53:33 pm
AYUSH secretary Hindi remark, Kanimozhi on Hindi speaking row, Karti Chidamabaram, hindi domination, Non-hindi speaking states, India news, Indian expressAYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha (Twitter/@airdelhi)

During a recent virtual training session, AYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said participants who did not speak Hindi “could leave”, as he could not speak English very well. His statement triggered a row, with leaders from Tamil Nadu condemning his statement.

DMK MP Kanimozhi Saturday demanded the suspension of Kotecha and sought disciplinary proceedings against him. Taking to Twitter, Kanimozhi, who represents the Thoothukudi constituency, said his statement spoke volumes about “the Hindi domination being imposed”.

“The statement of Secretary of the Union Ministry of AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha that non-Hindi speaking participants could leave during a Ministry’s training session speaks volumes about the Hindi domination being imposed. This is highly condemnable…,” Kanimozhi said.

“Govt should place the Secretary under suspension and initiate appropriate disciplinary proceedings. How long is this attitude of excluding non Hindi speakers to be tolerated,” she added.

The statement also elicited a sharp reaction from Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram, who said the insistence of speaking in Hindi was “totally unacceptable”.

“AYUSH training in Hindi ignores Tamil Nadu delegates. Not knowing English is understandable, but this arrogance of asking those who don’t know Hindi to leave and insisting on speaking in Hindi is totally unacceptable,” he said. Karti, the son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, represents Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga constituency.

Earlier this month, Kanimozhi said a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer had asked her if she was Indian, when she requested the woman official to speak in Tamil or English. Following the incident, the CISF had sought details and “ordered an enquiry into the matter”.

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