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.
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 (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) August 9, 2020
The CISF later issued an apology and sought details of the incident so “appropriate action” could be taken in the matter.
Warm greetings from @CISFHQrs. We sincerely acknowledge your unpleasant experience. Kindly DM journey details; name of airport, location, date, and time of the incident for appropriate action in the matter.
— CISF (@CISFHQrs) August 9, 2020
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”.
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.