Tukde-Tukde Gang In Power: Shashi Tharoor On Row Over Hindi

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Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor

Tamil Nadu, where language has always been a sensitive issue, has rejected the Centre’s three-language formula in schools

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Centre over allegations that the Ayush Ministry Secretary Rajesh Kotecha asked non-Hindi speaking yoga teachers and medical practitioners to leave a webinar. Mr Tharoor described the BJP as the “tukde-tukde” (divisive) gang – a term that the party in power often assigns to its opponents.

“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.

In a 40-second video clip that has been circulated online, Mr Kotecha can be seen saying: “Whoever wants English can leave… I am comfortable in Hindi and would prefer speaking in Hindi…”

NDTV has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Mr Kotecha has been quoted by The Hindu as claiming the video of his comments had been manipulated.

The report says the officer was disrupted by “hooligans”. The participants said they had tried to explain the language problem, but were told that they (the speakers) were not fluent in any other language, it says.

DMK MP Kanimozhi – who earlier this month said that she had been asked by a security personnel at an airport about her nationality as she expressed her inability to understand Hindi – described the alleged incident as “imposition” of the language and shot off of a letter to Union Minister Sripad Naik.

“I urge you to order an inquiry… and take action against all officials who have acted in a manner discriminating (against) our fellow citizens on the basis of language,” she wrote.

Tamil Nadu, where language has always been a sensitive issue, has rejected the Centre’s three-language formula in schools – two of which should be native – proposed in the newly released National Education Policy.

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