Tamil Nadu says no to Hindi word ‘Dahi’ on Aavin curd packets

The FSSAI had proposed to drop the English term ‘curd’ and had wanted to include the term Dahi and had written to several cooperatives and private dairies asking them to change the term in their packaging

March 30, 2023 12:28 am | Updated 03:12 pm IST - Chennai

Photo: Twitter/@AavinTN

Photo: Twitter/@AavinTN

The Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation, Aavin, has informed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) that it will not print the word ‘Dahi’, the Hindi equivalent for curd on its packets. The FSSAI had proposed to drop the English term ‘curd’ and had wanted to include the term Dahi and had written to several cooperatives and private dairies asking them to change the term in their packaging.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin criticised the FSSAI direction.

In a Twitter post, Mr. Stalin said the “unabashed insistences of #HindiImposition have come to the extent of directing us to label even a curd packet in Hindi, relegating Tamil and Kannada in our own States”.

“Such brazen disregard to our mother tongues will make sure those responsible are banished from South forever,” he added.

Dairy Development Minister S. M. Nasar said: “Imposition of Hindi is against the five cardinal principles of the DMK. We got a letter asking us to implement this [FSSAI directive] before August. But we said no. There is no place for Hindi here. Last year, they had wanted our packets to say ‘Doodh’ instead of milk. But we said ‘no’,” he explained.

Annamalai’s statement

In response to an article by The Hindu on the notification released by the FSSAI, BJP State President K. Annamalai issued a statement requesting an immediate rollback of the notification for using the Hindi word dahi. State-run cooperative milk societies must be allowed to use their regional language on the packets, he urged.

Mr. Annamalai said the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi had always promoted regional languages. For the first time, the New Education Policy had emphasised educating children in their mother tongue, he said.  

In a tweet, he said: “The notification released by FSSAI for the use of “Dhahi” in curd sachets produced by state-run cooperative societies is not in tandem with the policy of our Hon PM Thiru @narendramodi avl to promote regional languages. We want an immediate rollback of the notification.”

The FSSAI had suggested that the name ‘Fermented Milk’ may be replaced with ‘Dahi’, and Yoghurt if the product complies with the relevant provisions of this standard. It had also said that any other designation (prevalent regional common name) may be used together with the term ‘Dahi’ in brackets on the label like, Dahi (Curd) or Dahi (Tayir) Dahi (Perugu) based on the regional nomenclature used in different States for Dahi.

Sources in Aavin said they had written to the FSSAI requesting that they be allowed to continue using the Tamil word ‘Tayir’ on their packets. “There is no need to change a term with which customers are comfortable and in a language they are familiar with,” said a source. Aavin produces around 20,000 litres of fermented products at its Ambattur dairy. These include 500 ml packet curds, cup curds, lassi and masala as well as probiotic buttermilk variants.

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