Kannada music on Metro: some annoyed, but many love it

BMRCL plays songs on trains after facing flak for ignoring language

Kannada music on Metro: some annoyed, but many love it
After being slammed by the Kannada Development Authority for ignoring Kannada, the BMRCL has been making constant efforts to bring the language to the fore, including playing patriotic Kannada songs on trains.

In September, travellers on Namma Metro’s Green Line were surprised to see the classic song, ‘Ee Mannu Nammadu’, written by the late R N Jayagopal, play during the journey.

Hundreds of travellers gave the thumbs up to the BMRCL on Twitter and Facebook.

While most travellers welcomed the song adding a rhythm to their silent journey, some expressed reservations about the quality of the audio and the high volume.

Manjula, an entrepreneur who has been using the metro for about three months now, said she was very pleased with the way the metro turned out, but the whole idea of listening to music during the journey wasn’t something she looked forward to.

“I personally feel that when people board the metro, especially after work or a stressful day, they wouldn’t want to listen to loud music, they would prefer soothing melody,” she said, adding that the sound quality was also a matter of concern.

Commenting on the song, Pavan Srinath, who posts as @zeusisdead on Twitter, wrote: “Found this incongruous, annoying and... low audio quality on the metro yesterday.”

Critics are, however, outnumbered by admirers who welcome the move and see it as a great way to promote the language and culture of the land.

Arun Javagal, of Banavasi Balaga, the group which led the campaign against the “imposition” of Hindi on the metro, said music played a major role in informing migrants about the Kannada culture. “It’s good to see the metro taking a proactive role as well as removing Hindi boards,” he said.

Kishan, a regular traveller, said such initiatives strengthened the Kannada culture. “The song carries the true essence of Karnataka, which is now dying. It’s good that more people are listening to it,” he added.

The BMRCL said a lot of thought had gone into playing the songs. “We are doing this on a trial basis to see how travellers respond. It was a conscious choice to avoid filmy songs and play only patriotic ones,” U A Vasanth Rao, Chief Public Relations Officer, BMRCL, said.

Asked about the complaints of noise and quality of the songs, Rao promised necessary action soon. “We are trying to maintain standard ambience. We are also receiving feedback from travellers,” he added.
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