Protests against Hindi bring together activists, politicians in Karnataka
The protest against the "imposition" of Hindi in Karnataka has gone a step further with Kannada activists and politicians coming together to plan the further course of action. Citing Tamil Nadu's example, JD(S) leader Ramesh Babu argued only regional parties can protect Kannada. Karnataka HC lawyer Manu Kulkarni said bringing Constitutional amendments upholding their status is the best way forward for regional languages.
At Banavasi Balaga's "Towards Linguistic Equality" event, Kulkarni said the Constitution emphasizes equality and protection to prohibit discrimination on various grounds, but "it had not dwelt on language equality." He said communities across India need to discuss before arriving at a consensus on Constitutional amendments.
Professor at Bengaluru's Azim Premji University, Chandan Gowda, said rural culture erosion and rapid urbanization had a direct impact on regional languages. He emphasized on the need to protect Kannada and bolster rural culture and economy. On giving primacy to Hindi under the idea of India as a nation state, he added leaders must learn from Europe where the "one nation-one state" experiment failed.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike's State President, Narayana Gowda, said even after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's directions, Hindi has not been removed from Bengaluru's Namma Metro stations. He said he would meet Siddaramaiah and urge him to ensure his directions are obeyed. Gowda added: "Otherwise, the Vedike will take matters into its own hands. Thousands of activists will go to metro stations and do what's necessary."