Chennai/Bengaluru: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has withdrawn its directive for printing Hindi term on curd packets after facing protests from DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu and opposition JD(S) in Karnataka. Both parties opposed the FSSAI's attempts of "Hindi imposition" and TN saying "nahi to dahi" (No to curd). Following this, the FSSAI issued a fresh notice on Thursday cancelling its decision of making Hindi term compulsory on curd packets.
Tamil Nadu's state-run Aavin had said it will not use the Hindi term 'Dahi' in its printed sachets, as directed by the FSSAI and that it would only stick to the Tamil word 'tayir' to denote the product.
With the directive covering the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), which sells products such as milk, curd, ghee and sweets under the brand name Nandini, JD(S) leader and former state Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy wondered if it was an attempt to 'hijack' Nandini products.
While TN Chief Minister M K Stalin slammed the move as an attempt to "impose Hindi", Dairy Development Minister S M Nasar admitted the government had received a letter asking it to implement the directive before August. The BJP's state unit also wanted the FSSAI to withdraw the notification.
There is no place for Hindi in the State, Nasar said.
The Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation, familiarly known as Aavin by its brand name, will stick to the Tamil word 'tayir' for its curd preferred by a majority of consumers in the State, a senior official said.
The same has been communicated to the FSSAI, the official added.
BJP state unit chief K Annamalai said the notification was not in tandem with Centre's policy of promoting regional languages.
"The notification released by FSSAI for the use of (the word) Dhahi in curd sachets produced by state-run cooperative societies is not in tandem with the policy of our Hon PM Thiru @narendramodi avl to promote regional languages. We want an immediate rollback of the notification," he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, DMK functionaries trended the Twitter hashtag "DahiNahipoda" (No to Dahi, go on) to oppose "Hindi imposition." The party's IT Wing Secretary TRB Rajaa was among those who tweeted so.
On Wednesday, Stalin had condemned imposition of Hindi even in labelling curd and said those responsible for it would be "banished" from the southern parts of the country.
On his Twitter handle, Stalin posted a news report on FSSAI directing KMF to label curd as "dahi" prominently.
The Bengaluru datelined report had said the FSSAI directed the KMF to use the Kannada equivalent for curd "mosaru" in brackets.
"The FSSAI clarification on labelling curd has come recently after Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka milk federations sought usage of local names on the curd sachets," the report said.
Meanwhile. former Karnataka C M Kumaraswamy took exception to the inclusion of the term Dahi on the curd packets of Nandini.
"Knowing that Kannadigas are opposed to Hindi imposition, it is wrong for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to order KMF to print Hindi Dahi on the packet of Nandini probiotic curd," said.
He said Nandini is the "property of the Kannadigas, the identity of the Kannadigas and the lifeline of the Kannadigas".
"Despite knowing this, the ego of Hindi imposition has been displayed," he added.
He alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his Mandya visit had said in a meeting that Nandini would be merged with Gujarat's Amul.
There was no response from the KMF on the issue.
(With PTI inputs)