GB Pant nursing admin in Delhi orders Malayalam cannot be spoken, only Hindi, English for communication

The notice states that several nurses were conversing in Malayalam while working. Maximum patients and colleagues don’t know this language and it causes inconvenience

GB Pant nursing admin in Delhi orders Malayalam cannot be spoken, only Hindi, English for communication
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Ashlin Mathew

In a shocking move, the central-Delhi based GB Pant Hospital’s nursing superintendent has issued a notice stating that nurses at this hospital can only speak Hindi and English and ‘serious action’ would be taken against anyone speaking in other language. The hospital falls under the Delhi government.

The notice states that several nurses were conversing in Malayalam while working at Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (known as GB Pant or GIPMER), while the maximum patients and colleagues do not know this language and they were feeling helpless and it was causing inconvenience.

Several nurses from GB Pant said that this was a completely surprising move. “We don’t know why the nursing superintendent has released this order. She has been harassing Malayali nurses especially for a while. She has been constantly allocating Malayali nurses the COVID-19 duty for two years, while there are several north Indians who have not been allocated COVID-19 duty even once in these two years. Most of the heavy duty nursing jobs are allocated to Malayali nurses especially those above the age of 50,” said a nurse working at GB Pant Hospital.

GB Pant nursing admin in Delhi orders Malayalam cannot be spoken, only Hindi, English for communication

“This is our mother tongue. When Punjabis meet, they speak in Punjabi and when nurses from different states in the north-east meet in the hospitals, they speak their common language. Rajasthani nurses speak Rajasthani with each other. This is our fundamental right. When we speak to a nurse who only knows Hindi, we switch to Hindi and with patients we speak the language they know. So, what is anyone’s issue if two Malayali health workers speak Malayalam? We came from Kerala and learnt Hindi here, so if anyone has an issue, they should learn Malayalam,” said Jeemol Shaji, general secretary of Delhi State Nurses Union- Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.

GB Pant Hospital, like LNJP Hospital, is a part of Maulana Azad Medical College. Most of the Cardio-thoracic, gastro and neurology cases from LNJP Hospital are referred to GB Pant Hospital.


In 2009, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals had asked two nurses, who were posted in the ICU of the Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery (CTVS) department, to resign for speaking Malayalam within the hospital premises. The nurses then said they would take their case to the National Human Rights Commission.

Several attempts were made to reach the Nursing Superintendent of GB Pant Hospital, but the calls went unanswered. This article will be updated if and when the nursing superintendent responds.

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