CHENNAI: More than not knowing Hindi, the issue of equating Hindi with nationalism is "shameful" and it edged out all other languages in the country in determining one's identity, DMK MP Kanimozhi said on Wednesday.
The Thoothukudi Lok Sabha MP claimed she had never studied Hindi in school nor learnt the language even after she started going to Delhi as a Parliamentarian.
On Sunday, Kanimozhi had said she was asked whether or not she was an Indian after she told a CISF official at the airport to speak in Tamil or English as she did not understand Hindi.
The CISF had subsequently ordered a probe into the matter.
"The issue is not about knowing Hindi or not. It is shameful (to say) I can be Indian only if I know Hindi," Kanimozhi told reporters at the airport here.
Referring to her experience at the airport on Sunday, she said it was heartening to note that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) authorities took action responding to "our feelings."
"The truth is I don't know Hindi. I never studied it in my school, where only Tamil and English were taught. Even after I started going to Delhi, I have not learnt that language," she said.
The language barrier persisted in several places, especially the Central government offices, Kanimozhi said.
With a change in attitude, people will definitely get the feeling that they too are Indians and are respected.
"This will install faith among the people that there is a place for regional languages in this country," she added.
"Only if I know Hindi, I can translate. Let it be proved if there is evidence," she said responding to a query that she had done a translation from Hindi in 1989.