A member of the Delhi Action Committee of Malayali nurses said that the circular poses a threat to the linguistic freedom of the medical staff.(HT Photo/ Representational image)
A member of the Delhi Action Committee of Malayali nurses said that the circular poses a threat to the linguistic freedom of the medical staff.(HT Photo/ Representational image)

'Kerala humiliated': Nurses seek apology on 'Don't speak in Malayalam' order for Delhi hospital

The circular issued on June 5 in Delhi's Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER) asked nurses to not converse in Malayalam and only use English or Hindi.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 06, 2021 03:25 PM IST

Riled over an order issued by a Delhi hospital restricting the use of the Malayalam language while conversing, the Malayali nurses union in the national capital has sought a written apology and 'serious action' against those responsible.

The circular issued on June 5 in Delhi's Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER) asked nurses to not converse in Malayalam and only use English or Hindi. A day later, the order was withdrawn, stating that it was issued without any instructions or knowledge of the hospital administration or Delhi government.

A member of the Delhi Action Committee of Malayali nurses said that the circular poses a threat to the linguistic freedom of the medical staff.

"It was really shocking for us. We feel that it is a threat to our linguistic freedom. We need an apology from the concerned person as they have humiliated the whole state," Fameer CK told news agency ANI.

If the notice was issued without the knowledge of the hospital administration, then it should be treated as misconduct, Fameer said, adding that serious action should be taken against those responsible.

Delhi government should take strict action against the nursing superintendent who had signed the circular, Fameer told ANI. The union will continue its agitation till an apology letter from the concerned department is issued, he said.

The circular, now withdrawn, sparked a political furore over linguistic freedom as Opposition leaders condemned the move as 'unacceptable and crude'.

Congress leader and MP from Wayanad, Kerala Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to post about stopping language discrimination. "Malayalam is as Indian as any other Indian language. Stop language discrimination!" he said in a tweet.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, also tweeted stating, "It boggles the mind that in democratic India a government institution can tell its nurses not to speak in their mother tongue to others who understand them. This is unacceptable, crude, offensive and a violation of the basic human rights of Indian citizens. A reprimand is overdue!"

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