New Delhi, Mar 11: A BJP member today embarrassed the government saying it should be "ashamed" over the low literacy levels in the country, drawing a snub from Union Minister Smriti Irani who said he should be careful in choosing words.
During the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Nishikant Dubey cited data from a UNESCO report and said the "Indian government should be ashamed" about low literacy levels in the country.
In response, a visibly peeved HRD Minister said the member should be careful while speaking. "You should ask the question quickly... When you say 'Indian government should be ashamed', you should be careful as it would also cover the present government," she noted.
Irani also said that instead of asking a question, Dubey had given a long speech. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan too said everyone should speak with responsibility.
Cautioning that members should be careful with their language, Mahajan said "on social problems like education, when we use the expression like India should be ashamed... we should speak with responsibility".
"We are representatives of people... we are not ordinary people... Please be little careful (Thoda sa dhyan de) when asking a question or while making a reply," Mahajan said.
As per a UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2013-14, around 37 per cent of the world's total adult illiterates are reported from India.
Replying to Dubey's question, the Minister said efforts were being made to improve literacy, including that of females, in the country.
Literacy rate went up to 72.98 per cent in 2011 from 64.84 per cent in 2001, she said.