Pro-Kannada groups will continue protest: Activists

Pro-Kannada groups will continue protest: Activists

Their demands vary: from the right to write central government examinations in Kannada to removing Hindi as a subject from schools.

Several pro-Kannada organisations observed 'Black Day against Hindi imposition' on September 14.

A few days before Hindi Diwas, Twitter and Facebook were bombarded with posts with the hashtags #WeDontWantHindiDivas and #WewantBharatabhashadivasa in them. On September 14, Amit Shah had hinted a ‘One nation one language’ concept.

He later said he did not mean imposition of any one language but was only suggesting Hindi could be the second language.

Language activists and pro-Kannada organisations have been protesting online and on the streets. On September 14, several organisations like ‘Karunada Yodharu’, ‘Karnataka Ranadheera Pade’, ‘Karunada Sevakaru’, ‘Karnataka Rakshana Sene’, ‘Banvasi Balaga’ and ‘Naavu Kannadigaru, We Are South Indian’, came together to protest against the day’s celebrations.

They all sported black and called the protest ‘Black day against Hindi imposition’.

Most of the organisations will continue the protest that is aimed at removing the three-language policy practised in Karnataka.

Abhi Gowda, film director, activist, writer and member of ‘Naavu Kannadigaru, We Are South Indian’, says that the first step of protesting was opposing the ‘Hindi Diwas’.

“We want to adopt Tamil Nadu’s model, which is a two-language policy. We are pressurising the state government through social media, street protests and more. The winter session of Vidhana Soudha will happen from October 14 and we are planning press meets and protests before that,” he says.

The organisation’s demand is that from 2020, Hindi should be removed as a subject from the state’s education system.

“We will be reaching out to MLAs, other politicians and student leaders for the same. We only want five subjects at school: English, Kannada, social studies, general science and mathematics. In states like UP, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, students only have to study five subjects but in Karnataka, they have to study six subjects,” he says. 

Abhi adds that the extra subject overburdens children. “They are not able to pay attention to subjects like science, social studies and mathematics, which are important for entrance examinations,” he observes.

‘Naavu Kannadigaru, We Are South Indians’ wants to bring awareness among people. “We will continue our social media campaigns. There will also be bike rallies from areas like Tumkuru, Mysuru, Kolar and Mandya which will end in Bengaluru, to create awareness,” he says. 

Raghu M P, member of ‘Karunada Yodharu’ was a part of the ‘black day’ protest.

“Around 300 members were present at the event. This was to communicate a strong message to the Central government,” he says. 

“The protest will continue: on road and on social media. There will be campaigns at schools and colleges to create awareness. We intend to do a seminar which will create awareness about how Hindi is not the national language. We want to encourage our mother tongue Kannada among people. We respect all languages but our language deserves its space too,” he adds.

The ultimate goal of all these pro-Kannada activist groups is to get an amendment of Article 343 to 351.

Arun Javagal, member of Banavasi Balaga, says there are some milestones to be achieved like the right to write Central government examinations in Kannada.

“Most of these happen in Hindi and English which is not fair to everyone. We will be making this demand in the Legislative Assembly and the Parliament; we are working on a private bill with MP GC Chandrashekar, for conducting these examinations in all 22 official languages,” he says. 

The next demand is the permission to use Kannada in High Court, he adds. “We are working with a few advocates associations towards this.”

B Harish Kumar, president of ‘Karnataka Ranadheera Pade’ says the group is planning a mass meeting of representatives all South Indian states who are against the imposition of Hindi. 

“We are planning to hold the event in November. We are also planning to host a seminar in October with around 1,000 people (from all across the southern states) to create awareness about the situation,” he adds. 

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