"Delhi hospital official apologises to staff over controversial ‘no Malayalam’ circular"
The nursing superintendent of GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi has apologised for issuing a controversial circular that banned nursing staff from speaking in Malayalam on duty, saying he had “no intention to disrespect any Indian language, region, or religion”.
The hospital had withdrawn the circular, which asked the nursing staff to converse only in Hindi or English, on June 6, saying it was issued “without any instruction or knowledge of the hospital administration and the Delhi government”.
In a letter to the medical director of the hospital on June 7, the nursing superintendent explained the reasons behind issuing the circular and said it was issued in “a positive sense and there was no mala fide intention against any Malayalam-speaking staff”.
“In fact, the circular was misinterpreted and I didn’t even get a chance to be explained,” he said.
“The gist of the complaint was that most of the staff communicates in regional language due to which other staff members as well as attendants of the patients were feeling helpless. It was requested to sort out the matter… Complainant clearly mentioned Malayalam language,” the letter by the nursing superintendent mentions .
Earlier, too, patients and attendants had complained verbally to seniors about some staff members using their regional language, he said.
The patients would assume they had some serious health issues and that’s why languages are changed to hide their current condition. Hence, the circular was issued to “avoid any confusion due to language barrier”, the nursing superintendent told.
“Even then, if feelings of any staff were hurt, I regret and offer an apology for the latter,” he said.