New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Members from Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha today made vociferous protests against lack of facility for translating Tamil into English and Hindi.
The issue came to the fore when Mr K Maitreyan of the AIADMK began his speech on the Nandigram issue in Tamil, as a deliberate ploy to draw the Chair's attention to the fact that no facility had been put in place so far for its translation.
''We are terribly embarrased that despite our repeated pleas there is still no facility for translating Tamil into English and Hindi,'' he said.
His observation drew ready support from members of all parties from Tamil Nadu. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj also supported their cause, pointing out that Tamil has been accorded the status of a classical language.
Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, who was in the Chair, however, ruled that it was an administrative matter and there was no need to discuss it in the House.
He also informed the agitated members that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat had advertised for Tamil and Telugu reporters, but no one applied for the post.
Mr Maitreyan replied by saying that ''the onus is not on us'' if people were not responding to the advertisements.
The Deputy Chairman sought to bring down the curtain on the issue by by stating that ''you could have discussed this in the chamber. I don't want a debate on it.'' Mr Maitreyan then proceeded with his speech in English.
The next speaker, Mr S S Ahluwalia (BJP), who spoke in Bengali, did not have to encounter any such problem. The headphone had the facility for its translation in both Hindi and English.