‘This is Bihar’: Nitish Kumar slams farmer for speaking English

Use of English words by a farmer irked Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at an agriculture event.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
First Published22 Feb 2023
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses the Kisan Samagam' for the formulation of the 4th Agriculture Road Map, at Samrat Ashoka Convention Centre, in Patna on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses the Kisan Samagam’ for the formulation of the 4th Agriculture Road Map, at Samrat Ashoka Convention Centre, in Patna on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)(Aftab Alam Siddiqui )

On February 21, Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar slammed a farmer by the name of Amit Kumar for using too many "English phrases" when recounting his thrilling life's adventure. The farmer from Lakhisarai was speaking at a celebration marking the launch of the state government's "fourth agriculture roadmap" at the Bapu Sabhagar auditorium.

In his opening remarks, Kumar praised the Bihar CM for establishing an atmosphere that allowed him, a management graduate with a promising profession in Pune, to have the guts to throw it all up and start mushroom farming in his home area.

The CM is a fervent supporter of legendary socialist Ram Manohar Lohia, who championed the cause of vernacular languages as one of the many tools to be used for removing social inequality. The JD(U) leader expressed the opinion that smartphone addiction during the COVID-induced lockdowns had caused many people to lose their own languages.

CM Kumar, who remained in his seat but interrupted the agro-entrepreneur, cut the agro-entrepreneur off just a few minutes into his speech. “Is it England? You are working in Bihar, practising agriculture which is the profession of the common folks,” said Kumar, evoking applause from the crowd.

Also Read: Nitish Kumar 'strong’ PM candidate; Tejashwi Yadav explains why

“This is India. This is Bihar,” said the CM while criticising the farmer.

As the farmer started again, he was interrupted seconds later for having used the expression “government schemes”.

“What is this? Can you not say Sarkaari Yojana?” the Bihar CM asked. He said he was an engineer by training and his medium of instruction was English. But it is another thing to use the language for academic pursuits. He wondered why the farmer was using English in his day-to-day life.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, criticised the BIhar CM for his actions and wondered if he was annoyed with the English language or by something else.

Also Read: Pankaj Tripathi, other actors from Bihar welcome Nitish Kumar’s new film policy

“Is CM Nitish Kumar annoyed with English language itself or with its usage by the subalterns? His objection to the use of English words in a public address is absolutely ridiculous,” said state BJP leader and its OBC Morcha national general secretary Nikhil Anand.

(With PTI inputs)

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