PM Modi mocks dyslexia persons; political leaders, Twitterati erupt in anger
PM Narendra Modi faced severe criticism for mocking individuals suffering from dyslexia at a video conference at IIT Kharagpur during the finals of the Smart India Hackathon 2019
PM Narendra Modi faced severe criticism for mocking individuals suffering from dyslexia at a video conference at IIT Kharagpur during the finals of the Smart India Hackathon 2019.
A student was talking about her project that aimed at helping children with dyslexia to be creative in spite of their learning difficulties. PM Modi asked the student if the project would help children who are between the ages of 40-50 years. When the student responded in affirmation, responded saying, “The mothers of such children will be very happy in that case.”
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) issued a statement against PM Modi for his “distasteful” remark and demanded an apology.
NPRD general secretary Muralidharan Vishwanath said the PM’s conduct is uncalled for and his response is totally insensitive as he tried to portray all dyslexic people in a poor light by taking a dig at his political rivals.
“Even during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Narendra Modi had used terms like blind, deaf, lame, etc., to belittle his rivals. It is a reflection of a totally regressive mindset,” he said even as he reminded that Modi had coined the term “divyang” (divine body) be used in place of “viklang” (disabled) for persons with disability in the country.
Coming from a person holding such a high office makes it more unpardonable, said Vishwanath who pointed out that the remarks display scant respect for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and made it a clear offence. The least the PM can do is apologise for his remarks, he asserted.
Instead of answering a question posed by a student, the Prime Minister sought to take potshots at his political rivals and in course made fun of those affected by dyslexia, he said.
Leaders and other Twitter users slammed PM Modi for his crass comment on people suffering from dyslexia.
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his purported political potshot at Congress president Rahul Gandhi while answering a question by a student on dyslexia.
Targeting Modi, Siddaramaiah tweeted: "Just came across a video of our @narendramodi taking political potshots using the name of dyslexic people. Shame on you Modi!! You just can't go below this. Your insensitivity can't be washed away by dipping in any river. They may be slow in learning but not heartless like you."
Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao also hit out at Modi for the reported jibe.
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury called the Modi’s remarks “shameful and distressing”.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Sharma Menon said that as a parent, she would not want her kid to listen to a speaker who used dyslexia as a slur.