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CISF orders probe after Kanimozhi says airport official questioned her nationality

Taking to Twitter, Kanimozhi wrote: "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."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 9, 2020 11:05:38 pm
Kanimozhi, hindi compulsory, hindi imposition, hindi imposition protest, protest against Hindi language, Indian express A CISF officer at an airport allegedly expressed doubts over Kanimozhi’s nationality.

DMK MP Kanimozhi Sunday said a Central Industrial Security Force officer asked if she was an Indian when she requested the woman official to speak in Tamil or English. The incident is understood to have taken place when Kanimozhi was at the Chennai airport to take a flight to Delhi.

Narrating the incident on Twitter, Kanimozhi said, “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, who is also the DMK’s women’s wing secretary, said on her twitter handle.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sought details from her soon after and said it had “ordered an enquiry into 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,” the CISF tweeted. “It is not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language,” it tweeted.

A number of social media users replied supporting her, including Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram. “Outright ridiculous. Highly condemnable. A linguistic test , what next? @CISFHQrs should respond!” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, in an apparent dig at Kanimozhi, senior BJP leader B L Santhosh on Sunday said “campaign starts” for Tamil Nadu assembly elections. Tamil Nadu Assembly election is slated to be held in the first half of next year.  “Assembly elections are eight months away… Campaign starts,” Santhosh, the BJP general secretary (organisation), said on Twitter.

Congress MP Manickam Tagore, who is also from Tamil Nadu, however, accused Santhosh of “arrogance”.  “This arrogance will be costlier Santosh Avere! When @CISFHQrs officers does a mistake & when the force is ready to acknowledge the mistake by a person why you make it as BJP Vs DMK (sic), when someone asks you in Bengaluru airport whether you’re a Indian? What you will do?” Tagore tweeted.

Recently, DMK President M K Stalin said the Centre’s new National Education Policy (NEP) was an attempt at “imposition” of Hindi and Sanskrit. “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,” Stalin had said. “This is an attack on the federal structure being underscored by the Constitution of India,” he said.

The debate over “imposition of Hindi” was triggered after a committee under then Human Resource and Development Ministry, in a draft report on the New Education Policy in January last year, recommended Hindi as a compulsory language to be taught in schools across the country till Class 10. Facing flak from various quarters, especially the southern states, the Centre dropped the contentious clause of mandatory Hindi teaching in a revised draft in June.

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