Activist, leaders tear into AIIMS-Bhubaneswar’s Hindi diktat

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Bhubaneswar: Following a report in Orissa POST highlighting a diktat by AIIMS-Bhubaneswar to its staffers for compulsory use of Hindi, political leaders and language outfit Utkal Sammilani Friday objected to the decision. Ironically, the directive was issued by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the eve of International Mother Language Day.

The president of Utkal Sammilani, Dillip Dashsharma, said he has already written a letter to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar authorities opposing the move. “We oppose this decision because every language must be given due respect and no one should force any language on anybody. Odia is also one of the classical languages and as per rules of the state government, all official letters, files and other work at government offices must be in Odia,” said Dashsharma.

He further said that Odia language has similar importance like Hindi. “There are 15 languages used in Indian currency notes to describe the value and Odia is one of them. So, this decision of promoting a particular language and neglecting another is unacceptable,” he said.

Many patients from across the state visit the AIIMS and they preferred to speak Odia. “So, we demand that this decision is withdrawn and training be imparted to the doctors to help them speak Odia.”  Meanwhile, several political parties including Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress objected to the decision.

BJD Parliamentary Party leader Pinaki Mishra said, “Odisha is the first state to be formed on linguistic basis and we would not allow anybody to sideline our mother tongue, particularly any institution that is working for the people of our state.”

“We will insist on use of Odia since our people are familiar with it and this makes their task of availing services at AIIMS easier. We will formally lodge our protest with the Health Ministry and ask for a change in this directive,” tweeted Mishra.

Odisha Pradesh Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik tweeted, “The circular issued by AIIMS, Bhubaneswar imposing Hindi, is an insult to the Odia language and the rich & vibrant culture of #Odisha. There is no place for #HindiImposition in our state. The party will not allow this to happen.”

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