Remark “Nepali is not an Indian language” sparks outrage, NGO apologizes

A Gorkha group said it had decided to go the legal route in the matter. (Representative)

The All India Women Conference (AIWC), a non-governmental organization, has issued an apology after Gorkhas outraged a committee member who rejected a performance by artists from the community while claiming that Nepali is a “language not Indian”.

A group of Gorkhas said today that they have decided to go the legal route in the matter.

Chandra Prabha Pandey, an executive member of the AIWC, had rejected contributions sent by artists from Kalimbong district in West Bengal for an “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” event while saying that the performances could not be presented in “languages non-Indian”, according to the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh.

She further insisted that artists cannot send the national anthem sung in Nepali as it is “not a language of India”, the group said.

The AIWC said its management had been seized of the matter and condemned its member’s remark.

“We strongly oppose and condemn the MP’s ignorance. On behalf of all AIWC members, we extend an unconditional apology to our dear Gorkha brothers,” said the statement released by AIWC President Sheela Karkde.

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista shared the statement with a handwritten apology from Ms Pandey.

“In the past, many such derogatory statements have gone unchallenged, for which our people have been subjected to racist mockery and discrimination time and time again. But we will no longer tolerate such acts of discrimination and racism,” Bista said.

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