Scholar alleges ill-treatment for not knowing Hindi

A 27-year-old PhD scholar from Tamil Nadu has alleged that he was denied clearance by an immigration officer at the Mumbai International Airport for “not knowing Hindi”.

Abraham Samuel, a biomedical engineer pursuing his Doctorate in Chemistry at Clarkson University in Potsdam in the US, vented his anger on micro-blogging site Twitter by tagging a host of political personalities – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and DMK President M K Stalin.

Samuel alleged that the incident took place at around 1 am on Wednesday at the Mumbai Airport when he proceeded to the immigration counter no. 33 for clearance to take his flight to the US. The officer shouted at him for not knowing Hindi when the passenger had reportedly spoken to him only in English and not in Tamil.

“Was just denied immigration by an immigration officer in counter 33 at Mumbai CST AIRPORT, for knowing only Tamil and English and NOT Hindi! What a disaster! Reported the officer, hope they take action,” he wrote on Twitter. The PhD scholar also alleged that the officer insisted that he speak in Hindi despite being told that he did not know the language.

“I was told to go back to Tamil Nadu continuously... the central government needs to be reminded often that Tamil Nadu is also a part of India,” he said. Samuel said he reported the officer’s behaviour to authorities who summoned the concerned in front of him.

“Even after complaining to the immigration officials at the airport, he continued his disgraceful speech even in front of his superiors! Officials should investigate CCTV footage and can ask me any details that would be helpful,” the scholar alleged.

The series of tweets by Samuel has gone viral on the social media with more than 2,000 likes and 3,000 retweets. Forcing someone to speak Hindi is an emotive subject in Tamil Nadu, which is probably the only state where Hindi is not taught in majority of the schools.

Sources said the Mumbai Police has ordered a probe into the allegations made by a 27-year-old PhD student that an immigration officer at the Mumbai

 “I’m proud to be an Indian and even more proud to be a Tamil! If that’s a problem with you, then you are not fit to call yourselves Indians!” “I’m Indian, I DON'T SPEAK HINDI! DEAL WITH IT! @HMOIndia Don’t abuse Indians who speak their own beautiful languages!” he said in another tweet.

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Scholar alleges ill-treatment for not knowing Hindi

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