The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) revoked its order to rename curd packets as ‘dahi’ after non-Hindi speaking southern states, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, protested against the move, calling it a form of “Hindi imposition”.
FSSAI had directed milk producers in Tamil Nadu to change the labels on their curd packets from ‘curd’ in English and ‘thayir’ in Tamil to ‘dahi’ in Hindi, as well as other dairy products like butter and cheese. However, this directive was met with resistance from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and milk producers who were against the change.
On Friday, March 30, the food safety authority released a new statement saying that the term curd can be used along with any other designation (regional common name) in brackets on the label. Examples given by FSSAI include: curd (mosaru), curd (thayir) or curd (perugu). Interestingly, the Kashmiri word for curd, ‘Zaamut daud’, was also included in the list of examples.
The move to rename curd packets as ‘dahi’ was condemned by Stalin as “imposition of Hindi”, and he had warned that 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 controversy over the renaming of curd packets as ‘dahi’ had sparked debates on the imposition of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states. With FSSAI’s latest statement, it appears that the use of regional common names on labels will be allowed in addition to the term curd.—(with inputs from agencies)