Tharoor hurls a ‘tukde tukde’ at BJP after Ayush Secretary’s Hindi remark

Union Ayush Secretary Rajesh Kotecha had asked non-Hindi Yoga teachers and medical practitioners to leave a webinar

Addressing the media in Kochi after his meeting with the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the Lok Sabha member said it was wrong to call the protesting fishermen anti-national | File Image

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has launched a frontal attack on the Centre and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a ‘tukde tukde’ gang, a term which the party often uses to qualify its opponents.

Shashi Tharoor was responding to reports that Union Ayush Secretary Rajesh Kotecha had asked non-Hindi Yoga teachers and medical practitioners to leave a webinar.

He said the officer should be replaced by a Tamil civil servant if the government had any decency.

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


“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 tukde-tukde gang now in power determined to destroy India’s hard-won unity?” he said in a tweet.

A 40-second video clip that circulated online showed the GoI Secretary saying: “Whoever wants English can leave… I am comfortable in Hindi and would prefer speaking in Hindi…”

Kanimozhi’s letter

NDTV reported that DMK MP Kanimozhi, who was recently asked of her nationality by a CISF staffer at an airport, that the Secretary’s act amounted to imposition of a language.

She sent a letter to Union Minister of State for Ayush Sripad Yasso Naik and sought an inquiry.

“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 said in the letter.

Language has been creating quite a furore in the political scene of the country, especially with states like Tamil Nadu rejecting the three-language formula put forth by the Centre. In the Centre’s scheme, at least two languages should be native.

Shashi Tharoor has also been a vocal dissenter and the MP had often stated that any such language imposition would ‘destroy’ the hard-earned freedom and diversity of the country.

‘No official language status’

Tharoor had pointed out in a speech in parliament on January 3, 2018 that Hindi had not been given national language status in India. He said, “A Gujarat High Court ruling says that it is not the official language.”

There are 22 official languages in India, as per the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

The 22 languages are: (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.

As many as 14 were added to the Constitution initially. Sindhi was accorded official status in 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali in 1992; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali in 2004.

Article 351 of the Constitution but provides for the spread of the Hindi language ‘without interfering with the other languages of specified in the 8th Schedule.