Her comments came on the day a media report quoted her saying that "there is nothing wrong with the term Hindu being applied equally for all citizens as a label of national identity".
"We are Indians, thats our nationality. I used the word Hindi. It's an Arabic word. They call all Indians Hindi. I didn't say Hindu. I used the word Hindi," Hepatullah told reporters at her residence.
She reiterated that she had said earlier also that people who go to the Arabic countries from India are known as Hindi.
"If they go to Iran they are known as Hindustani. That is our nationality and identity. The word is 'Hindi'," she said.