Ayush secy’s snub to non-Hindi doctors sparks row in TN

Ayush Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha reportedly asked 37 yoga and naturopathy doctors to leave an event organised by the ministry when they requested sessions in English instead of Hindi

Ayush Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha had reportedly expressed his inability to speak in English and asked non-Hindi speakers to leave the event. Photo: Twitter

An instruction by Ayush Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha for non-Hindi participants to leave a ministry-organised training session if they didn’t understand Hindi, has raked up the age-old anti-Hindi controversy in Tamil Nadu.

Raising the issue on Twitter, DMK MP Kanimozhi, called the secretary’s behaviour “condemnable” and sought disciplinary action against him.

“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…,” she tweeted.

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“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,” the MP from Tuticorin said in another tweet.

She has also written to AYUSH minister Shripad Naik seeking an inquiry into the incident.

According to reports, Kotecha had asked yoga and naturopathy doctors from Tamil Nadu to leave the training programme held in Delhi when they objected to the sole usage of Hindi during the sessions.

Related news: CISF officer asked me if I was Indian as I didn’t speak Hindi

At least 37 yoga and naturopathy doctors from the state were participating in the programme organised by the ministry and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga for Master Trainers of Yoga.

Quoting doctors who had attended the event, a Deccan Herald report said only four sessions were conducted in English while the remaining were conducted in Hindi.

The doctors said their repeated requests to organisers to make English the medium of instruction bore no result.

“When we objected, we were told to leave the session,” one of the doctors told DH.

“I want to congratulate people who have taken the time to attend this event in the past two days. I have information that, for the past two days, there has been a problem…people can leave…I do not speak English very well. So, I will speak in Hindi,” Kotecha was seen telling participants, according to the report.

The incident was also criticised by Karti Chidambaram, a Lok Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga district.

Related news: Why this anti-Hindi fervour in Tamil Nadu

“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 tweeted.

Kanimozhi had recently shared on Twitter how she was asked if she was not an Indian by a CISF officer at airport when the MP said she doesn’t speak Hindi.

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