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TN Says ‘Nahi to Dahi' on FSSAI Order, JD(S) Fears 'Hijack' of Nandini Brand with 'Hindi Imposition'

‘Such brazen disregard to our mother tongues will make sure those responsible are banished from South forever’, tweeted M K Stalin.
Nandini Milk √ Image courtesy: Facebook

Nandini Milk √ Image courtesy: Facebook

Chennai/Bengaluru: The FSSAI's branding directive for curd sachets with its Hindi name has not gone down well with DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu and Opposition Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka, with both decrying attempts of "Hindi imposition" and TN saying "nahi to dahi" (No to curd).

Tamil Nadu's state-run Aavin has said it will not use the Hindi term 'Dahi' in its printed sachets, as directed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and that it would only stick to the Tamil word 'tayir' to denote the product.

With the directive covering the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), which sells products such as milk, curd, ghee and sweets under the brand name Nandini, JD(S) leader and former state Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy wondered if it was an attempt to 'hijack' Nandini products.

While TN Chief Minister M K Stalin has slammed the move as an attempt to "impose Hindi", Dairy Development Minister SM Nasar admitted the government had received a letter asking it to implement the directive before August. The BJP's state unit also wanted the FSSAI to withdraw the notification.

There is no place for Hindi in the State, Nasar said.

The Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation, familiarly known as Aavin by its brand name, will stick to the Tamil word 'tayir' for its curd preferred by a majority of consumers in the State, a senior official said.

The same has been communicated to FSSAI, the official added.

BJP state unit chief K Annamalai said the notification was not in tandem with Centre's policy of promoting regional languages.

"The notification released by FSSAI for the use of (the word) 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," he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, DMK functionaries trended the Twitter hashtag "DahiNahipoda" (No to Dahi, go away) to oppose "Hindi imposition." The party's IT wing Secretary TRB Rajaa was among those who tweeted so.

On Wednesday, Stalin had condemned imposition of Hindi even in labelling curd and said those responsible for it would be "banished" from the southern parts of the country.

On his Twitter handle, Stalin posted a news report on FSSAI directing Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) to label curd as "dahi" prominently.

The Bengaluru datelined report had said the FSSAI directed the KMF to use the Kannada equivalent for curd "mosaru" in brackets.

"The FSSAI clarification on labelling curd has come recently after Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka milk federations sought usage of local names on the curd sachets," the report said. Also, Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation has been told by FSSAI that to Tamil words "tair" or "tayir" could be used in brackets.

Citing the report, Stalin had said, "the unabashed insistences of #HindiImposition have come to the extent of directing us to label even a curd packet in Hindi, relegating Tamil & Kannada in our own states. Such brazen disregard to our mother tongues will make sure those responsible are banished from South forever."

Meanwhile. former Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy took exception to the inclusion of the term Dahi on the curd packets of Nandini, a popular brand of KMF.

In a series of tweets, the JD(S) second-in-command called it ‘Hindi imposition’ on Kannadigas.

"Knowing that Kannadigas are opposed to Hindi imposition, it is wrong for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to order KMF to print Hindi Dahi on the packet of Nandini probiotic curd," said.

He said Nandini is the "property of the Kannadigas, the identity of the Kannadigas and the lifeline of the Kannadigas".

"Despite knowing this, the ego of Hindi imposition has been displayed," he added.

He alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his Mandya visit had said in a meeting that Nandini would be merged with Gujarat's Amul.

There was no response from the Karnataka Milk Federation on the issue.

After Political Row, FSSAI Revises Directive

New Delhi: Food safety regulatory FSSAI on Thursday revised its order and allowed the use of regional names in printed labels of curd packets amid political controversy in Tamil Nadu.

Food Business Operators (FBOs) are now allowed to use the term 'curd' along with any other prevalent regional common name in brackets on the label. For example, 'Curd (Dahi)' or 'Curd (Mosaru), 'Curd (Zaamutdaud)', 'Curd (Thayir)', 'Curd (Perugu)' can be used, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said in a statement.

The order has been revised following various representations received recently on the omission of the term 'curd' from the Standards of Fermented Milk Products and only the word 'Dahi' was mentioned.

The controversy erupted after the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation -- which sells dairy products in brand name Aavin -- declined to use the Hindi term 'Dahi' in its printed sachets as directed by FSSAI and said that it would only stick to the Tamil word 'Thayir'.

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