Is this India or Hindia? asks DMK's Stalin! What Kanimozhi faced and why it drew massive flak?

The tweet that was winged by DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi has again brought the topic of Hindi imposition to the spotlight as what she faced at the Chennai airport has drawn massive flak from the regional and national political leaders. 

In her tweet, Kanimozhi had quoted the incident that she met in Chennai airport and said that the officer attached to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) asked her if she was an Indian after she told the officer to speak in English as she doesn't know Hindi. In her tweet on Sunday, she further asked "I would like to know from when being Indian is equal to knowing Hindi."


While the response of the CISF official had stirred controversy over insisting a particular language, the CISF said that the agency has ordered a probe into the matter and claimed that it is not the policy of CISF to insist upon any particular language. The CISF has replied to the same message to Kanimozhi for which the DMK leader had thanked the central agency for assuring to take an action. 

Amid the controversy, Kanimozhi has got support from the national leaders who belong to South Indian states who shared their experiences of what they have faced for not knowing Hindi. Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has come in support of DMK leader and said, "The unpleasant experience of DMK MP Ms. Kanimozhi at Chennai airport is not unusual."


Chidambaram revealed that "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". "If the Central government is genuinely committed to both Hindi and English being the official languages of India, it must insist that all central government employees are bilingual in Hindi and English." the Congress leader added. 

Chidambaram further questioned, "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?". Along with Chidambaram, former Chief Minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy had shown his solidarity to the DMK leader. 


Taking to Twitter, Kumaraswamy said "I raise my voice against the insult meted to sister Kanimozhi. Now, it is apt to debate how political leaders from the South were snatched of their opportunities by Hindi politics and discrimination." The leader has condemned Hindi politics and Hindi superiority due to which many south Indian leaders and people have lost opportunities. He stated that because of Hindi politics, many leaders of South India had lost the opportunity of being the Prime Minister including Karunanidhi, Kamaraj, and HD Deve Gowda. 

While commenting about what he faced at the Parliament, Kumaraswamy said, "I have also had similar experiences. I was a Lok Sabha member twice. The ruling class ignores the South with disdain. I have seen from close quarters how Hindi politicians manoeuvre. Most of them don't respect non-Hindi politicians". Hours after Kanimozhi's tweet, DMK President MK Stalin took to Twitter and asked whether Hindi is the benchmark for being Indian and questioned whether is this India or Hindia?


Stalin further slammed that those to dig the pit for diversity will get buried in it. On Monday, DMK MP Kanimozhi has thanked the leaders who supported her and shared their experiences of Hindi imposition and highlighted the issues faced by non-Hindi speakers in the airports and government institutions. She stated that the officials in several positions of authority are not aware that both Hindi and English are official languages. 


In her statement, Kanimozhi said, "The official who accosted me did so because of her lack of appropriate training". By pressing that there was a need to sensitize the officials and give appropriate training, the Lok Sabha MP said, "These officials have not been sensitized to be inclusive and respect diversity. Sensitizing people is important to change mindsets". "I hope CISF and the government will take steps in this direction. As an MP, I'm willing to support this in any manner that I can", Kanimozhi added.