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DMK MP Kanimozhi’s stutter in LS reignites row over pro-Hindi push
The perennial language row between Hindi and non-Hindi speaking MPs erupted in Parliament again with DMK MP Kanimozhi taking a veiled dig at the BJP-led union government’s pro-Hindi push.
Raising the climate change issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Kanimozhi stuttered momentarily when she attempted to pronounce the term ‘Atmanirbhar’ (Hindi word for the Make in India slogan of the GoI). As the Hindi speaking MPs in the Treasury benches attempted to help her get the pronunciation right, she retorted, “It is very difficult.”
After a pause, she added, “That is the problem. You don’t understand that we speak different languages. Either it can be in English or you can have it in regional languages. So that all of us can say it.”
Responding in kind to suggestions from the ruling dispensation, a sarcastic Kanimozhi said, “Okay. Henceforth, I will speak in Tamil. Tell me if you understand. But, you insist that we should take permission for that. That is the problem.”
The DMK women’s wing secretary’s jibe at the ruling BJP, which was received with the thumping of the benches by her Tamil-speaking colleagues from the state, did not go unnoticed as the netizens had a field day lauding her for calling out Hindi imposition with a smile on her face on the floor of the Parliament. Notably, this is the not first instance when the Twitterati had adored their representatives from here for criticizing Hindi imposition.
Not so long ago, Congress MP from Sivaganga Karti Chidambaram had responded in a similar fashion. When a BJP MP uttered something in Hindi to his critique of faulty GST implementation and demonetization, a virtually peeved Karti said, “Nee enna solraney enakku teriyala (I do not know what you are saying). Kanimozhi’s reminder to the Chair comes a few days after DMK MP from South Chennai, Thamizhachi Thangapandian asked the Union government to make sure that the official state Tamil invocation song (Tamil Thaai Vaalthu) was sung as per the protocol at Union government functions in Tamil Nadu without fail. Thamizhachi raked up the issue after IIT-Madras replaced Tamil invocation song with a Sanskrit song at its 58th convocation held on its campus here last month.