Congress leader K Suresh takes oath in Hindi, told off by Sonia Gandhi

Sonia reportedly asked the other Congress MPs from Kerala to stick to Malayalam.

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Congress leader K Suresh takes oath in Hindi, told off by Sonia Gandhi


Senior Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh incurred the displeasure of Sonia Gandhi for taking his oath in Hindi, instead of his mother tongue Malayalam. Reports say, Sonia asked Suresh to explain himself, and then indicated to the other Conrgess MPs from Kerala to take their oaths in either Malayalam or English.

Suresh, a senior Lok Sabha MP who has begun his seventh term, is the third most senior member of the House, behind Union Minister Santosh Gangwar and former minister Maneka Gandhi. He took his oath immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and surprised many members of the House when he took his oath in Hindi. Members from Hindi-speaking regions, including PM Modi, thumped on their desks in appreciation. Suresh also greeted PM Modi after taking oath.

After he returned to his seat, Sonia Gandhi asked Suresh why he had taken oath in Hindi, reported Malayalam newspaper Madhyamam. Unsatisfied with his response, she instructed the other MPs from Kerala to stick to Malayalam while taking their oaths, the report said.

He later told newspersons that he had taken his oath in English last time, and had picked Hindi this time for a change, said reports. 

Suresh's oath comes against the backdrop of complaints over the Centre's attempt to impose Hindi on non-Hindi-speaking states. The draft of the new education policy that had been released by the government soon after it took charge had come in for intense criticism for its proposal to make the learning of Hindi compulsory in non-Hindi-speaking states.

Leading the charge on this count again was Tamil Nadu, which pushed #TNAgainstHindiImposition to the top of Twitter trends. Leaders from other states too raised their voices against it. They argued that while the opportunity to learn Hindi must be made available to those who want to study the language, it should not be made compulsory.

After a few days of online fury, newly appointed Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal clarified that Hindi would not be made compulsory, and that what had been released was not the final policy but a draft of it that could be discussed.


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