Kannada schools will not be shut down, says Shettar

Warding off apprehensions over the closure of government Kannada schools in the State, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Thursday said that his government will not close the schools at any cost.

Addressing a gathering during the Kannada Rajotsava celebrations organised by the Sapna Book House here, Shettar said the government will instead open more Kannada medium schools wherever required.

Shettar said the government was yet to receive R Govinda Committee report.

“Even before the government received the report there are rumours that the committee has recommended the closure of 12,000 schools. Irrespective of what the recommendations are, the government will never take a decision to close schools,” he added.

With respect to popularising Kannada literature, Shettar said during important functions, the government departments should develop the habit of distributing Kannada books to dignitaries, as opposed to felicitating them with garlands. “Earlier, as a minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, I had issued a circular to this effect. Other departments too should pick up this trend,” he said, adding that the Sapna Book House should open a store in Hubli and other North Karnataka districts.

He said the Book House would register more sales in those districts than in Bangalore.
BJP leader and MP Ananth Kumar said Kannada litterateurs should work towards ensuring that all information is available on the internet in Kannada. A team should be constituted in this regard, he said.

Lexicographer G Venkatasubbaiah said the growth of Kannada literature in the last century had been adventurous and thrilling. “If litterateurs like Gopala Krishna Adiga and B M Srikantaiah were alive today, they would have appreciated the trend,” he added.

The chief minister felicitated 56 lietterateurs and released 56 Kannada books to mark the occasion.

SMS in Kannada yet to materialise

Jnanpith award recipient Chandrashekar Kambar brought some harsh facts to the fore during the function. Taking strong exception to the fact that the government had made no efforts to enable usage of Kannada on mobile phones, Kambar said the SMS option was already available in Tamil.

He said that noted Kannada author Poornachandra Tejaswi had strived towards this endeavour way back in the year 2001.

“We’d together submitted a report on the same in 2004. But the then minister just took a photograph with us and did nothing to implement it.” Kambar also said that former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had allocated Rs two crore for developing the software but the money had remained unspent.

As Shettar had already left the premises, Ananth Kumar said he would speak to the chief minister and the minister concerned and ensure that the software development work is initiated immediately.

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