CISF officer asked if I am Indian for not speaking Hindi, says Kanimozhi

Kanimozhi took to Twitter to bring the incident to light

kanimozhi-dmk [File] DMK leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi | AFP

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi on Sunday said a Central Industrial Security Force officer asked her if she was an Indian, when she asked the woman official to speak in Tamil or English.

Kanimozhi took to Twitter to bring the incident to light.

“Today at the airport a CISF officer asked me if “I am an Indian” when I asked her to speak to me in tamil or English as I did not know Hindi. I would like to know from when being indian is equal to knowing Hindi. #hindiimposition,” Kanimozhi tweeted.

Her tweet received several replies, with many users agreeing that the CISF personnel should not have questioned Kanimozhi’s nationality based on the language she speaks or understands.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s son and Sivaganga MP Kari Chidambaram retweeted Kanimozhi’s tweet commenting that it was “outright ridiculous”, tagging the CISF’s handle.

“Outright ridiculous.  Highly condemnable.  A linguistic test , what next? @CISFHQrs should respond!” Karti tweeted.

The CISF replied to Kanimozhi’s tweet and said that her complaint has been acknowledged and appropriate action will be taken.

“The CISF has ordered an Enquiry into the matter. It is not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language,” CISF said in another tweet.

Kanimozhi, who is also the DMK’s women’s wing secretary, later told media that the BJP was running an agenda “to impose Hindi, including in the new National Education Policy”.

“I am as much Indian as anybody else,” Kanimozhi added.

The incident has highlighted Tamil Nadu’s stand against the imposition of Hindi and the raging debate over it as southern states continue to say not to the language’s imposition by the Centre. DMK President M.K. Stalin, who strongly opposed the imposition of Hindi in the state, had attacked the NEP, describing it as an attempt to impose Hindi and Sanskrit across the country.

The Centre had received flak from various quarters over the NEP draft last year, which recommended Hindi as a compulsory language with the three-language formula. Protests were also staged against the Modi government’s attempts to impose the language in the state.