Marathi forced on Kannadigas in M'rashtra border villages

Basic right to get education in Kannada language denied

Marathi forced on Kannadigas  in M'rashtra border villages

If one just strays into villages on the western side of the Golden Quadrilateral, that heads northwards from Belgaum to Sankeshwar, to gain an insight into the rural life, agricultural methods adopted, food habits and other facets of life, one could easily be mistaken for being in Karnataka.

However, all these villages that have a majority Kannada- speaking population are part of Maharashtra.

Basic rights denied

The Maharashtra government has denied residents of Kadalge, Aralgundi and surrounding villages from Gadhinglaj taluk in Kolhapur district of their basic right to get education in Kannada language. Thereby, forcing them to send their wards to Marathi- medium schools.

However, families who were determined to get their children to study in Kannada language have to send them to villages in Hukkeri taluk, on the other side of the border.

If this is the plight of students who are eager to study in their mother tongue, one can only imagine the situation in interior parts of Maharashtra that has a considerable Kannada-speaking population.

Delegation of leaders from different political parties in Maharashtra had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had alleged that Karnataka government had been denying the basic rights of Marathi speaking people in the State. They also sought Central government’s intervention in this regard.

On several occasions discussions have been disrupted in the Parliament over the same issue.

However, a visit to a few villages with a predominant Kannada speaking population in Maharashtra will only bring to fore denial of basic rights of residents. One of the violation of basic rights includes denial of education in one’s mother tongue.

‘Forced to study Marathi’

Veergouda, a farmer from Aralgundi said though we all speak Kannada our children are  forced to study in Marathi medium schools, due to lack of Kannada medium schools.
In contrast Marathi medium schools flourish in Hukkeri taluk, just a few km away, rued villagers.

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