Delhi hospital bars nurses from speaking in Malayalam, revokes after uproar
New Delhi, June 06: Facing flak over a circular asking its nursing staff not to use Malayalam at work, the Delhi government-run G B Pant hospital on Sunday revoked the order and said strict action will be taken in the matter.
"The circular which was issued by the Nursing Superintendent, G B Pant Hospital, without any instructions or knowledge of the hospital administration and the Delhi government stands withdrawn with immediate effect," a new order issued by the Medical Director Dr Anil Agarwal read.
"The matter is being investigated and strict action will follow," Dr Agarwal told PTI.
The circular issued on Saturday read, "A complaint has been received regarding Malayalam language being used for communication in working places in GIPMER. Whereas maximum patients and colleagues do not know this language and feel helpless causing a lot of inconvenience."
"So, it is directed to all nursing personnel to use only Hindi and English for communication. Otherwise, serious action will be taken," it had said.
An official of the G B Pant nurses'' association said there are around 850 nurses working at the hospital, of which around 400 are Malayali.
The association''s president, Liladhar Ramchandani, claimed the circular was issued based on a complaint sent by a patient to a senior officer in the health department, regarding use of Malayalam language at the hospital, while adding that "the union disagrees with the wordings used in the circular".
The circular invited criticism from the medical fraternity, political leaders and the public.
Violation of basic human rights: Tharoor
Reacting to the development, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called the circular offensive and a violation of the basic human rights of Indian citizens.
"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! (sic)" he said in a tweet.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also tweeted saying, "Malayalam is as Indian as any other Indian language. Stop language discrimination!"