A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a distasteful joke on dyslexia, former Chief Minister of Karnataka - Siddaramaiah, took to Twitter and and called PM Modi heartless.
"Just came across a video of our Narendra Modi 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," Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.
Just came across a video of our @narendramodi taking political potshots using the name of dyslexic people.â€” Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 4, 2019
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.
On Sunday, a video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with students at IIT-Rourkee went viral on social media. The Prime Minister was interacting with the students at an event held on Saturday. In the video, a student is seen speaking of her project to help people with dyslexia and says, â€śDyslexic children are those whose learning and writing pace is very slow but creativity level and intelligence is quite good,â€ť to this the Prime Minister made a veiled attack, presumably on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and said, "If the project helps the 40-50 year old child, then that would make his mother very happy.â€ť
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), a coalition of disability rights groups across the country, has condemned the Prime Minister's statement and called it â€śdisrespectful and insensitiveâ€ť.
â€śIn an uncalled for and totally insensitive response where the Prime Minister tried to portray all dyslexic people in poor light. It is all the more unpardonable as it comes from a person holding such a high office. And this disgusting attitude comes from a person who had equated disability with divinity and coined the term â€śdivyangâ€ť. Even during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign Narendra Modi had used terms like blind, deaf, lame etc. to belittle his rivals,â€ť the statement says.
The NPRD demanded that the PM Modi apologise to persons with disabilities for his statement. â€śThe PM should under no circumstances be making such a remark. It also displays scant respect for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 according to which this constitutes an offence. The least the PM can do is apologise for his remarks,â€ť the statement reads.
The statement by the PM has been widely condemned by others too.
"Just when you think that Narendra Modi cannot get any lower in political discourse, he sets new benchmarks. It is disgraceful of a PM to mock dyslexia," Karnataka Minister for Social Welfare, Priyank Kharge said.
â€” Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) March 4, 2019
"The incidence of dyslexia in India is believed to be 15%. As per a 2013 report, there are 228,994,454 dyslexic students enrolled in recognized schools This message for an insensitive PM Modi who doesnâ€™t mind mocking them for political point scoring," Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress National spokesperson said.
The incidence of dyslexia in India is believed to be 15%. As per a 2013 report, there are 228,994,454 dyslexic students enrolled in recognized schoolsâ€” Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 4, 2019
This message for an insensitive PM Modi who doesnâ€™t mind mocking them for political point scoring.
Brilliantly done @arvindtm pic.twitter.com/rEQrSxxLpd