Spam Mails Bombard Newsrooms; Seek Action Against AYUSH Min Secy 

The mails said Kotecha’s Hindi remark was a “reprehensible” act of authoritarianism and an insult to Tamil doctors.

2 min read
File image of AYUSH Ministry secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha.

Newsrooms across India faced a spam email attack as a part of a coordinated campaign on Tuesday, 25 August.

Group(s) are trying to push for action against the AYUSH Ministry secretary, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, following the controversy over his ‘Hindi only’ remark during a recent online conference.

Close to 300 emails were sent from various IDs in a span of just 30 minutes.

The spam mails appear to be in response to an online conference conducted by the Union AYUSH Ministry across the country, from 18 to 20 August. The event sparked controversy after Kotecha refused to speak in English and told those who don't understand Hindi to leave the video call.

The mails, demanding action against him, said it was a “reprehensible” act of authoritarianism and an insult to doctors from Tamil Nadu.

The emails, written in Tamil, popped up in hundreds of inboxes with the subject line: “I demand action against AYUSH ministry Secretary! (Amend the Official Languages Act of 1963, to include 22 languages contained in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution).”

Nearly a hundred government officials and media houses were marked in the mails.

“Is it to insult Tamil Nadu doctors by imposing Hindi? All 22 languages, including Tamil, should be made official languages,” the opening lines of the letter reads.

“Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, has insulted Tamil Nadu doctors,” the letter goes on to say.

It claims that Kotecha “not only conducted classes in Hindi at the online yoga and naturopathy training camp” but also threatened participating doctors from Tamil Nadu when asked to speak in English.

According to participating doctors from Tamil Nadu, Kotecha said he would not speak in English and told those who don’t understand Hindi to leave the video call.

“This act of authoritarianism is reprehensible,” the letter stated.

This 'insulting' behaviour from the secretary, according to naturopathy doctors from Tamil Nadu who participated in the conference, was a continuation of a discriminatory and badly-organised event that lasted three days, they said.

Thirty-seven government hospital doctors participated in this conference from Tamil Nadu, which had over 300 participants in total.

The event was organised by the Ministry of AYUSH and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga for Master Trainers of Yoga. According to doctors who attended the session, each day had six sessions to cover various aspects of naturopathy and yoga.

The letter, sent and signed by one N Sridhar, a Chennai resident, demands that “all 22 languages, including Tamil, must be made official languages.”

It further goes on to demand that the central government should take action against Kotecha, “for imposing Hindi on the AYUSH training camp, insulting and intimidating Tamil Nadu doctors.”

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