After DMK MP Kanimozhi alleged that she faced language bias at an airport where a Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) officer asked her if she is an Indian because she did not know Hndi, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram came out in her support and said that he faced "similar taunts" from government officers and citizens.
In a Tweet on Sunday, 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 (sic).”
Chidambaram came out in her support on Monday, saying that such "unpleasant experience" 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," Chidambaram said.
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— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) August 10, 2020
Chidambaram also said that if the Central government is genuinely committed to both English and Hindi being the official languages of India, it must insisit that all government employees are bilingual in Hindi and English.
"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.
Soon after Kanimozhi's tweet yesterday, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sought details of the incident from her.
"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 (sic)," the CISF tweeted.
Kanimozhi is the member of Parliament from Thoothukkudi in Tamil Nadu.