Members from South Snubbed


New Delhi — The Rajya Sabha _ question hour on Thursday ended in the midst of a row between DMK and AIADMK members on the one side and a large number of members from Hindi speaking areas on the other over the use of Hindi.

It all started when the Minister of State, Mr. Ashok Gehlot, began to reply, in Hindi a question on Vayudoot operations put up in English.

Mr. Mohanarangan (AIADMK) stood up to object to this, saying that since the minister knew English, he should follow the practice of replying in the same language in which the question was asked. He was supported by Mr. V. Gopalsami (DMK) and others from his party.


However, many members, especially from the Treasury benches asserted that the minister could use either of the two languages.

As the angry exchanges continued, the Chairman, Mr. R. Venkataraman, ruled that the members need not insist on the minister’s speaking in any particular language. In case they could not follow the language, they could make use of the facility of simultaneous translation.

When Mr. Gehlot again began to reply in Hindi, Mr. Mohanarangan repeated his objection and said that the minister was doing so in spite of the fact that he knew English. Mr. Gehlot, however, maintained that he was at ease in Hindi.

“The question is over,” announced the Chairman when the _ controversy raged again with more members joining it.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 12, 1985