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Political War of Words Breaks Out Over PM Modi's Comment on Dyslexia

Narendra Modi made the impromptu remark while answering a student’s question via video conference during the grand finale of ‘Smart India Hackathon 2019’ at IIT-Kharagpur on Saturday.

News18.com

Updated:March 4, 2019, 4:30 PM IST
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Political War of Words Breaks Out Over PM Modi's Comment on Dyslexia
PM Narendra Modi speaks during the National Youth Parliament Festival, 2019 Awards function, in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday courted controversy after a video clip showing him cracking a joke on dyslexia, allegedly at the expense of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, went viral on the social media.

Modi made the impromptu remark while answering a student’s question via video conference during the grand finale of ‘Smart India Hackathon 2019’ at IIT-Kharagpur on Saturday.

During the interaction, which was streamed live to thousands of students participating in the competition, an engineering student from Dehradun told the Prime Minister about a program that could help dyslexic children who face difficulties in reading and writing.

Introducing her project, the girl said, "We have an idea to help dyslexic children, whose pace of learning and writing is very slow. But they have a high intelligence and creativity level as you have seen in the movie Taare Zameen Par..."

Interrupting the student at this point, Modi asked: "Will this program also work for a 40 to 50 year old child?" When the student replied with a "Yes, it will work,” the PM said: "Then that will make the mothers of such children very happy," he said.

Modi’s remarks drew strong criticism on social media, including by members of the opposition.

“Shameful and distressing. Some of us have dyslexic or disabled relatives, friends, children and parents. Sattar saal mein pehli baar, a person with this crassness occupies the chair of the PM. Enough, Mr Modi. Yeh hain sanskar aapke?” tweeted CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

AAP's national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon wrote: “God! When we thought PM Narendra Modi could not go any lower, he manages to stoop. As a parent I do not want my kid to listen to a speaker who'd use dyslexia as a slur and here our Prime Minister uses dyslexia to insult Rahul Gandhi. This is wrong on so many levels.”

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