Chennai: After DMK Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi brought to light the ‘Are you Indian’ taunt by a woman CISF personnel at the airport here, support swelled for her with various leaders including former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram saying he too had exeprienced such taunts.
Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh responded to her tweet saying, “In complete solidarity with you.”
Congress MP from Sivaganga Karti P Chidambaram tweeted, “Outright ridiculous. Highly condemnable. A linguistic test, what next? @CISFHQrs should respond!”.
Congress Virudhunagar MP Manickam Tagore tweeted, “Condemnable! The way the ruling establishment pushes One Nation, One Language, One culture, it will eliminate many for a few! Hope @CISFHQrs acts on this!”.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has also supported Kanimozhi over the issue.
In a series of tweets,Chidambaram said “the unpleasant experience of DMK MP Kanimozhi at Chennai airport is not unusual.”
“I have experienced similar taunts from government officers and ordinary citizens who insisted that I speak in Hindi during telephone conversations and sometimes face to face,” he added.
If the Central government was genuinely committed to both Hindi and English being the official languages of India, it must insist that all central government employees were bilingual in Hindi and English, Chidambaram said in another tweet.
“Non-Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts quickly learn functional, spoken Hindi. Why cannot Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts learn functional, spoken English?” he asked.
After Kanimozhi brought to light the CISF taunt at her with a tweet, the CISF ordered a probe into it.
Kanimozhi, who was proceeding to New Delhi, also termed it as Hindi imposition.
Kanimozhi, who is the daughter of former Tamilnadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, 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…#hindi imposition”.
“I would like to know from when being indian is equal to knowing Hindi”, she said.
In another tweet, she said the CISF has ordered a probe into the incident, adding, it was not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language.
“The CISF has ordered an enquiry into the matter. It is not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language”, she said.
The CISF headquarters responded promising appropriate action and said “we sincerely acknowledge your unpleasant experience. Kindly DM journey details; name of the airport, location, date and time of the incident for appropriate action in the matter”.
The incident highlighted with the hashtag #hindiimposition created a Twitter storm with netizens, including several MPs and ex-ministers, expressing outrage at the behaviour of the CISF official.