Taking on BJP President Rajnath Singh for his remark that the spread of English had hurt Indian culture, Congress on Friday said the opposition party had itself “outsourced” its vision document to people who only spoke English.
“I sometimes feel like laughing at our friends. On one side their vision document is outsourced to people who don’t speak any language other than English. Is this medievalism or hypocrisy,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said in New Delhi.
Mr. Tewari said the debate whether pre-schoolers should be taught English so that they can use the Internet had taken place in other countries also.
“This attempt to create a dispute over language or saying that one language is better or worse that another, doesn’t strengthen the country and is not expected from a responsible political party,” Mr. Tewari said.
The I&B minister also rejected the criticism of the government’s handling of the economy by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
“I am quite amazed at times, as to how in the kind of global economic environment that we are can any responsible political party really criticise a 5 to 6 percent growth in the economy when most major economies are either registering a negative growth or are barely positive,” he said.
Mr. Tewari said the prime minister had pointed out that things are not possibly as good as they were a few years back, but added the government is committed to the process of bring India back to a very high growth trajectory.
“The reforms in the FDI sector which have just been announced, the decisions taken by the cabinet committee on Infrastructure to try and unlock the bottlenecks are all steps in this direction,” he said.
Mr. Tewari said that going by sheer comparison, the 1998 to 2004 period when the global economy was doing well, India grew at 5.8 percent under NDA rule.
He said that from 2007 to 2012 when the global economy was facing perhaps its greatest meltdown after the great depression of the 30s, the country grew at 8.2 percent and in some years by 9 percent.
“So how can any responsible person, who has been the finance minister of India be completely oblivious or close his eyes to these facts,” Mr. Tewari said.
Asked about the new team that the BJP is planning to constitute for the next elections, he said the Congress had beaten several such teams in the last nine years.
Asked about the mid-day meal scheme, Mr. Tewari said the funds for this scheme was provided by the Centre and implemented by the state.
He said that the scheme had helped children but state governments needed to pay maximum attention to this scheme and swift action should be taken against those responsible for tragic deaths in Bihar.