New Delhi, June 6
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress on Sunday demanded strict action against the authorities of a Delhi Hospital for issuing a circular that asked nursing staff not to speak in Malayalam at work, and termed it unconstitutional and denial of fundamental rights.
Congress leaders led by Rahul Gandhi hit out at the authorities at the Delhi government-run G B Pant hospital and said language discrimination should end.
The hospital has revoked the controversial order.
“Malayalam is as Indian as any other Indian language. Stop language discrimination,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also shared concerns and posted the order of the Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research that asked the nursing staff to use only Hindi and English for communication, and said serious action will be taken if that is not followed.
"This order violates the basic values of our country," she said in a tweet in Malayalam and termed it as "racist, discriminatory and completely wrong." She said the order is an insult to nurses and health workers from Kerala who made us secure by risking their own lives during Covid times.
"We owe them debt of gratitude and respect," she said, adding that the order should be withdrawn immediately and an apology should be issued.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the order is "totally bizarre". "This is unconstitutional, really...," he said.
Congress general secretary K C Venugopal urged Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to take action against the hospital authorities.
In a letter to the Health minister, he said it is unbelievable that such an order has been issued by an institution denying basic fundamental rights to frontline health workers working there.
"I would urge you to look into this matter and take immediate measures to withdraw the atrocious and discriminatory circular. I would also urge you to take immediate disciplinary action against the persons who issued such a circular based on linguistic discrimination," Venugopal said in his letter to the health minister.
He said nurses from Kerala are serving across the world in Covid times and helping save people's lives, and their contribution cannot be ignored.
'The BJP on Sunday said this was ironical that it requested Kerala for oxygen when in need it during the Covid crisis and has now attempted to snatch its peoples' right to speak in their language with each other.
BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said the "withdrawal in a haste clearly indicates we have an anarchist state government for whom the Constitution of India and its recognised language do not matter."
He added, "It is an irony that when this government was in need of oxygen, the request was directed to Kerala and now comes their attempt to snatch their right to speak in Malayalam amongst each other".
Globally, he said, the largest number of nurses comes from Kerala, and they have served our country as frontline workers along with doctors and other paramedics.
They suffered casualties along too, Vadakkan said, adding that he was surprised at the "deafening silence" from the Kerala government on the matter. — PTI
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