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'Not living in British era': Bihar CM Nitish Kumar displeased with use of English signboard

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was in Banka district after the inspection of a bridge in Jamui that got damaged after heavy rainfall last week, inaugurated the digital library. After the board of a digital library was found written in English, he asked the officials to change it.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Patna Published on: September 28, 2023 7:02 IST
Bihar, Nitish Kumar
Image Source : PTI Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his displeasure upon observing the signboard of a government school library written in English, stating, "We are not living in the British era." Kumar was in Banka district, about 250 km from Patna, to inaugurate a newly constructed hospital and inspect a recently renovated indoor stadium.

'We are not living in the British era'

After visiting a high school, where he inaugurated the digital library, the Chief Minister expressed his displeasure when he noticed the signboard identifying it as a "digital library". “Why is this not in Hindi? We are not living in the British era,” he told the District Magistrate Anshul Kumar who was present there.

'I gave up putting on my signature in English'

Kumar, who holds the record for being the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar, clarified that he had nothing against the English language. In fact, he mentioned that he had received his engineering education in English and had delivered numerous speeches in English in Parliament. However, he emphasized his commitment to promoting the use of Hindi and even shared that he had stopped using English for his signature.

“Look, I have nothing against English. It was the medium of my instruction while I was studying engineering. Many of my speeches in Parliament, too, were in that language. But, at one point of time, I decided to promote the use of Hindi. I therefore gave up putting on my signature in English. Please get this signboard changed, at the earliest," said the Bihar CM.

The District Magistrate assured Kumar that the signboard would be promptly replaced.  

Nitish Kumar earlier expressed his concerns about  extensive use of English

This is not the first time that Nitish Kumar has expressed his concerns about the use of English in public spaces. The septuagenarian leader, who attributes his strong support for Hindi to his ideological commitment to the late socialist stalwart Ram Manohar Lohia, has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the use of English on multiple occasions.

In February, he reprimanded an agricultural entrepreneur for delivering a presentation that included "too many English words."

A month later, while in the state legislative council, he scolded Chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur, a member of his JD(U) party, upon noticing words like "honourable" and "speaking time" displayed on the electronic board.

(With agencies input)

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