Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah insisted on creating an environment where Kannada is spoken everywhere in the state, making the local language “indispensable”.
On Tuesday, he launched the logo of the Karnataka Sambhrama-50 organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture at the Vidhana Soudha on the occasion of the 50th year of renaming Mysuru State as Karnataka. The Chief Minister congratulated Raviraj G Hulaguru, who designed the logo.
“We are all Kannadigas. People speaking different languages have settled in this Kannada land since the unification of Karnataka. Everyone living in this state should learn to speak Kannada,” Siddaramaiah said.
“While it is impossible to exist in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh without learning the local language, you can survive in Karnataka even if you don’t speak Kannada,” Siddaramaiah said, highlighting the difference between Karnataka and other states.
Kannada couldn’t create that strong atmosphere even after 68 years of Karnataka’s unification, the Chief Minister said. “Instead of Kannadigas teaching our language to others, we are learning their language first,” he said.
When it comes to the development of language and culture, Karnataka has not worked that far, Sidddaramaiah said, adding in some parts of the state, the diaspora does not speak Kannada at all. “Kannadigas are not without self-respect. But this is happening because of their generosity,” Siddaramaiah said, emphasising on loving the language and not forgetting it.
“People are consumed by the craze for English. Many of my ministers and officers write notes only in English. This language can be used while writing to the central government and other states, otherwise Kannada must be used for communication. Although Kannada has been the official language for many years, negligence may have been the main reason behind non-implementation of Kannada in our administration,” Siddaramaiah said.
Can this situation not be improved? In 1983, Siddaramaiah worked as the president of Kannada Bhasha Kavalu Samiti. ‘Karnataka Sambrama’ will be celebrated for one year from November 1 to help create awareness of the Kannada language among people, the Chief Minister said.
Karnataka was unified in November 1956. Before this, many parts of this state belonged to other states. After the declaration of reorganisation of states on the basis of regional languages, many people fought for the unification of Karnataka under the leadership of Aluru Venkataraya.
After the reorganisation, many regions from Mumbai, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu merged to become Karnataka. Although Rajyotsava was traditionally celebrated, the state was known as Mysore State. It got its name because it was ruled by the royal family of Mysore. It was renamed Karnataka in November 1972, when Devaraja Urs became the Chief Minister. The unified state was renamed Karnataka. The name was mentioned in Aluru Venkataraya’s book called Karnataka Gatavaibhava, Siddaramaiah said.
The state will complete its 50th year since its renaming on November 1. “Actually, it should have been celebrated last year itself. But the previous government did not,” Siddaramaiah alleged.