Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Lok Sabha MP in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)
Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Lok Sabha MP in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)

Inability to speak Hindi does not make anyone less Indian: Kanimozhi

ANI | Updated: Aug 10, 2020 00:17 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 10 (ANI) DMK MP Kanimozhi on Sunday alleged that a CISF official had asked her at the airport whether she was an Indian as she could not speak Hindi. The DMK MP later tweeted that she would like to know "from when being Indian is equal to knowing Hindi."
"The incident occurred at the Chennai airport when I was going through airport security. I could not understand what the CISF officer was saying so I asked her to speak to me in English or Tamil. She responded by asking me how I could call myself an Indian if I could not speak Hindi," Kanimozhi, told ANI.
The DMK MP, who is also her party's women's wing secretary said she was shocked at hearing the security official's response. "No one can tell anybody else who they are or where they belong just because they do not speak a particular language or don't prescribe to a certain faith. These things don't make anyone less of an Indian," Kanimozhi said.
The MP also said that the greatness of the country was in its diversity and inclusivity and that the ability of a person to speak in Hindi or any other language did not make them more or less of an Indian.

She added, "The greatness of our country lies in our diversity and our inclusivity. Somewhere we are losing this acceptance. The differences in language and religion are not what is going to divide the country. The attempt to homogenise the people will."
The Thoothukudi MP said she appreciated the support she received after she tweeted about the incident.
"When I landed I was glad to see officers who apologised and ensured that an enquiry will be conducted.But it is not about just this incident. This is not the first time this has happened to me. People from all over the country responded to my tweet with similar experiences where they were discriminated against because they couldn't speak Hindi. The general attitude of the people needs to change.
"No one in this country is less of an Indian just because they don't speak a particular language. We need to learn that only acceptance of diversity is going to bring this country together," she said.
The DMK leader had earlier tweeted, "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," she posted on her tweet along with the hashtag #hindiimposition. (ANI)