Kannada activists oppose English medium in govt schools

Kannada activists oppose English medium in govt schools

President of Kannada Kriya Samiti P Mallesh addresses a gathering at the 'Chintana Sabhe' held at Mysuru on Sunday. Writer K S Bhagawan, Journalist Basavaraj, General Secretary of Kannada Kriya Samiti S R Sudarshan and others are seen. DH photo.

Kannada Kriya Samiti activists, on Sunday, demanded that the state government should not introduce English as a medium of instruction (at class one level) in the 1,000 government-run primary schools from the next academic year. They urged that the government must withdraw its order passed in this regard. 

The decision to oppose the government's move was taken during a state level meeting (Chintana Sabhe) organised by the Kannada Kriya Samiti at Nrupatunga Kannada School, Ramakrishna Nagar, here on Sunday.

"The government must take measures to teach English more effectively because it is already a subject from the first standard onwards and not introduce the language as a medium of instruction," they demanded. 

They observed that the governor had returned the bill proposing Kannada as a medium of instruction (for standard one to four) back to the government. 

"This bill applies to private and government schools. The state government has still not rehashed the legislation and sent it back to the governor; and later for presidential assent," they lamented.      

Kannada Kriya Samiti president P Mallesh said that writers from all over the state were invited to the meeting where the status of Kannada in the state was being discussed. 

He condemned writers who held posts in government for ignoring his invite. "We condemn those who gained power in the name of Kannada but have not participated in this pro-Kannada programme, " he added.

Kannada Development Authority Chairman S G Siddaramaiah, Kuvempu Basha Bharati Authority president Marulasiddappa, Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Manu Baligar, Kannada Book Authority chairperson Vasundhara Bhupathi were invited for the meeting, he pointed out.

Taking a dig at Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Mallesh said "The present Chief Minister has no knowledge of the status of Kannada. He does not know the language," he criticised.

He added that though the chief minister had assured that the government would not implement English medium in schools, the order had been passed and the government was indeed implementing it.

He said that their opposition was not against teaching English but making the English a medium of instruction in government schools. "This is a threat to Kannada as a language," he remarked.

Journalist Basavaraj said that even in villages, people were admitting their children to English medium schools run by private organisations. He added that English and Kannada were not properly taught here. "If English is made a medium of instruction in the 1,000 government-run primary schools, it will affect Kannada medium schools," he cautioned.

Writers Chennaveera Kanavi and Chidananda Murthy have expressed their support for the meeting through letters addressed to the Samiti.

General secretary of Kannada Kriya Samiti S R Sudarshan and others were present.