BJD, Cong leaders slam AIIMS’ Hindi rule, demand rollback | Bhubaneswar News

Bhubaneswar: The row over AIIMS Bhubaneswar’s directive to use Hindi in official communication has intensified with the BJD saying it would demand a withdrawal of the notice even as the Congress attacked the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, claiming it is an attempt to impose Hindi over the state language, Odia.
The AIIMS Bhubaneswar directive, which was cirulated on Thursday, stirred passions on Friday, the International Mother Language Day, as leaders of different parties and social activists criticized the order which has asked all employees of the hospital to conduct oficial business in Hindi.
Pinaki Mishra, BJD’s Puri MP and the parliament party leader in Lok Sabha, said, “We are the first state to be formed on linguistic basis and we will not allow anyone to sideline our mother tongue, particularly by any institution that is working for the people of our state. We will insist that Odia be used since our people are familiar with it and that will make their task of availing service at AIIMS easier. We will formally lodge our protest with the Union health ministry and ask for a change in this directive.” “All the officers in administration, academic section, hospital administration, finance and accounts and heads of the departments are hereby informed to do their work in Hindi and it should be ensured that the staff members working with them are doing their work in Hindi as applicable under the Official Language Rules, 1976,” read the order issued by P K Ray, deputy director (administration) AIIMS Bhubaneswar.
Reacting to it state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said, “The circular issued by AIIMS Bhubaneswar imposing Hindi is an insult to Odia language and the rich and vibrant culture of Odisha. There is no place for imposing Hindi in our state.”
Koraput Congress MP Saptagiri Ulaka tweeted, “So AIIMS Bhubaneswar has sent directives to speak and write in Hindi. This is another attempt by the Centre to impose Hindi at the cost of Odia in Odisha. Is the state government aware of this and taking necessary steps to stop this?” Highlighting Ulaka’s tweet, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor added his own, “This government is squandering the hard-won unity of the country built up over seven decades, based on mutual respect and acceptance of diversity. Their narrow-minded insistence on monolithic uniformity (Hindi, Hindutva, Hindustan) will destroy our unity.”
The directive also drew criticism from All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and Virudhunagar MP (Tamil Nadu) Manickam Tagore B, AICC national spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee and DMK’s Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) MP, S Senthilkumar among others. Defending the AIIMs decision, BJP state president Sameer Mohanty said the institute has issued the office order according to the guidelines of Official Language Rules, 1976. “It is an official procedure. They have not written anywhere that they will issue prescription in Hindi or speak to patients in Hindi only. We should not politicize it,” Mohanty said.
Dillip Dassharma, a member of Utkal Sammilani, said “When the whole world is celebrating International Mother Language Day, AIIMS Bhubaneswar is imposing Hindi on its employees. Most of these employees are from Odisha. This cannot be tolerated.”
With the controversy raging, AIIMS Bhubaneswar deputy director (administration) said they are implementing the Official Language Act. “It is a normal practice in central government offices. We have to follow the Act. It is our administrative practice. It will not be applicable to patients,” Ray said.

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