Online campaign for Kannada signage

Online campaign for Kannada signage

Twitter hashtag #NoKannadaNoBusiness urges Metro Cash and Carry not to flout the BBMP guideline mandating 60 per cent Kannada on signboards

Last year, the BBMP drafted ‘The BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bye-laws 2018’, which says a property is allowed to display information in the ratio of
60:40 of Kannada language: second language. Any unused allowance in one language may not be transferred to the other. It also says the font of the other language cannot exceed 80 mm.

The order gave establishments time till November 1 to comply. However, many businesses joined hands with the Retailers Association of India to challenge this order.

The Kannada Grahakara Koota (Kannada Consumers’ Forum) launched an online campaign #NoKannadaNoBusiness on Twitter.

Ganesh Chethan, convenor of the group, says the aim of the campaign was to create awareness. “We run many campaigns demanding service in Kannada across sectors. If most of your consumers are Kannadigas, then what’s the issue with having signs in Kannada? How can you expect business from us, if you don’t serve us?”

The Metro Wholesale store was among the companies that has decided to go to court against the rule.

Many on Twitter raised questions about the company’s “hypocrisy” in refusing to use Kannada while using local languages in other states. “We just want to know why they are taking such an anti-Kannada stance. How can you do business here and not respect our people and culture?” says Chethan.

Following the outrage, the company put out a statement on Twitter:

“METRO respects local cultures & traditions across India, including Karnataka. We respect Kannada & use it prominently across our stores in Bengaluru. The BBMP’s circular for 60:40 is subjudice. We will respect & comply with judgement of Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in this matter.”

Not everyone is convinced. “If they are okay with Kannada boards, then why did they have to go to court?” says Chethan. “Just putting a small sign in one corner, just for the sake of it doesn’t work.”

The court has asked the parties concerned to maintain status quo at the moment. The case is expected to come up for hearing again this month.

Meanwhile, the consumers’ forum says it will call for a boycott of the company if it flouts the Kannada signage rule.

Where is it located...

Metro Cash and Carry has stores in Bengaluru in Yeshwantpur, Hosur Main Road, Binnypet, Whitefield and on Kanakapura Road and Mysuru Road.

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