Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi on August 10 said that a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official asked if "she was an Indian" because she was unable to speak in Hindi. The MP then asked if "being Indian was equal to knowing Hindi?"
The incident occurred at Chennai airport where the Thoothukkodi MP arrived to board 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
Reacting to her tweet, the official twitter handle of CISF asked the MP to share details of the incident and promised 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.— CISF (@CISFHQrs) August 9, 2020
The CISF has ordered an Enquiry into the matter. It is not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language.— CISF (@CISFHQrs) August 9, 2020
Speaking to India Today TV, Kanimozi said that a CISF personnel gave her some instructions in Hindi. The MP then asked the official to speak in English. At this point, the official questioned her nationality, the DMK leader alleged.
"I told her that I am going to complain about it," the DMK MP said.
"When I landed, the officers said this should not have happened...This attitude is dividing the country," Kanimozi said.
This Chennai airport incident reignited the "imposition of Hindi" debate with many including Karthi P Chidambaram questioning the CISF over the matter.