Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
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CISF officer asked me if I am an Indian, because I don’t know Hindi — MP Kanimozhi

Incident took place Sunday, reportedly at Chennai airport. After DMK MP Kamimozhi's tweet, CISF issued an apology and sought details.

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New Delhi: DMK MP Kanimozhi said Sunday she was asked by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at an airport if she was an Indian, only because the politician didn’t speak Hindi.

In a tweet, Kanimozhi posted, “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 (sic).”

The incident is understood to have taken place when Kanimozhi was at the Chennai international airport to take a flight to Delhi.

The CISF later issued an apology and sought details of the incident so “appropriate action” could be taken in the matter.

Kanimozhi had last year said Tamil language was the “identity of Tamil people“, in reaction to Home Minister Amit Shah pitched Hindi as the national language.

“We cannot lose our identity at all. What is our identity? Tamil, the language that unifies us…Tamil is not just a language but out culture, a unifying force forging a bond among Tamils transcending the differences of caste, creed and faith…It is like roots of a tree. It is vital to our sustenance,” she had said.

The MP had also said techies from Tamil Nadu “dominate” the Silicon Valley because they are proficient in English, touting it as the language that helps communication “across the world”.

Also read: Mother tongue rule to apply ‘wherever possible’ — Pokhriyal says NEP understands diversity

Mother tongue debate 

Sunday’s incident took place amid debates on the new National Education Policy (NEP) that encourages learning in the mother tongue or local language for students up to class 5, and preferably till class 8.

ThePrint had earlier reported how NEP has left parents confused about which language will be recognised as the mother tongue for many students belonging to culturally-diverse backgrounds.

DMK President M.K. Stalin has also been critical of the new NEP, calling it an attempt at “imposition” of Hindi and Sanskrit. He called the reforms “a glossy coat on the old oppressive Manusmriti”.

“With Education placed in the State List, the Centre will assume the remaining rights of the states and take in its control (aspects ranging) from syllabus to university,” he added.

Also read: ‘It’s healthy debate’ — PM Modi welcomes NEP feedback, pushes for effective implementation


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  1. Why apologies from cisf? Anything wrong did the CISF staff? It’s a simple question can be put to anybody enters airport.
    It’s a shame to our constitution even after 70 yrs we have VIP term used by govt. All are equal, no exceptions please from president to last man on the pyramid, all should be chked in similar fashion everywhere.
    Make a simple law of one pager only.

  2. Ms Kani could use google free translator app. Or she could have requested for help from somebody around to translate, that’s what most prudent person would do. But she was trained by India’s most cunning politician her father. She has picked up a quarrel with a CSIF staff and politicized it cleverly.

  3. @ Kanimozhi. I would like to remind you that your father once prompted for separate Tamil nation and failed to achieve it. Hence he would have questioned your nationality? Shamelessly you support the English languages from ginder garden level to university level in Tamilnadu and stood against promoting any other Indian languages. Maybe you are promoting it for your party leaders run shools & for Christian friends schools. Your love for Tamil is a folly otherwise will you fight against english medium in goverment and private schools in Tamilnadu. Will you or won’t???

  4. Does she look as if she has come from other planet or continent. She looks very much indian. To come to limelight this is the best issue when NEP 2020 is being discussed about. She is an MP, how could this have happened. All politics.

  5. In my opinion theprint is a BIASED online news channel! But boost as if an honest news channel! For God’s sake don’t mislead the readers?

  6. Yes Madam, you should know Hindi.. because Hindi is our mother language.
    You can speak English.. with ease but hate speaking Hindi.. very very sorry

  7. Ms. Kanimozhi is a multi time MP representing TN in Delhi. Astonished to learn that she doesn’t know Hindi or does not want to speak Hindi. We Tamils do not like Hindi imposition in Tamil Nadu. At the same time, I wonder how she got/gets by in Delhi without speaking Hindi.

    How can she even communicate to normal people during her stay, let alone represent her constituents to the best of her efforts?

  8. I don’t like her at all, but it’s insulting to make people feel that you are not Indian because u don’t know a particular language what next… tomorrow you will be questioned because you are not a Hindu

  9. I don’t like her at all, but it’s insulting to make people feel that you are not Indian because u don’t know a particular language what next… tomorrow you will be questioned because you are not a Hindu 🤔🙄😏… Jai Hind 🇮🇳

  10. It is, at best, hilarious that purportedly senior political leaders make an issue of such mundane matters. Ans the media also plays along as if it is a VERY BIG issue. Come on, The Print there are more pressing issues in the process of Nation building.
    In regard to education, sooner we accept the reality and go where knowledge that feeds resides, the better.

  11. Hindi is certainly not pre-requisite to be Indian. Will DMK/Kanimozhi in the same breadth condemn who force everyone to learn Tamil in Tamil Nadu and use knowing Tamil as barometer to be resident of Tamil Nadu. Her MLAs have even called north Indians who have settled in Tamil Nadu for generations and Can speak Tamil well as settlers in very derogatory way. Charity begins at home. DMK should shed it’s linguistic chauvinism before preaching tolerance to others

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