Bengalureans oppose Hindi imposition on Namma Metro…

Last Sunday, Bangalore Metro (proudly called as Namma or Our Metro) opened an important line which should help commuters immensely after all these years of wait.

However, there is another controversy which is brewing up in the city, This is over imposition of Hindi on the Metro stations:

A day after social media buzzed with protests alleging hegemony of the Hindi language in Namma Metroannouncements, signage, display boards at stations etc, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) issued a show cause notice to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) MD Pradeep Singh Kharola.

The Authority says that BMRCL is a state-owned company and has violated various notifications in using Kannada and promoting the local language, and that the use of Hindi is “not necessary” in its premises. However, BMRCL is not a state-owned company, but a joint venture between the Centre and state.

The notification further says: “It is a contempt of court order in which the government says usage of three languages is okay only if it is a central government agency. Since BMRCL is under the state’s jurisdiction, it is not necessary to use or impose Hindi. It is sidelining Kannada. BMRCL must send an explanation in a week.”

KDA focuses on implementation of Kannada in the administration of various state government agencies and allied institutions.

On Twitter, the language debacle started on Wednesday evening when a set of pro-Kannada groups slammed BMRCL for using Hindi signage and announcements in its premises, saying a third language (Hindi) is not mandatory. They even compared Namma Metro with Delhi Metro which uses only two languages — English and Hindi. Using the hashtag NammaMetroHindiBeda, the campaign quickly kicked up a storm and became one of the most trending topics. 


SG Siddharamaiah, chairperson of KDA said, “In Bengaluru, after Kannada, there are a maximum number of Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam speakers, then Gujarati, but the Hindi speaking population is only about 2%. So BMRCL should include Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam also. Basically, the three-language policy is valid for central agencies like the Railways, post offices and PSUs. It is anti-constitution to impose Hindi and not give priority to Kannada. Tomorrow, even the BMTC might use Hindi and say they’ve got directions from the Centre.”

Here are views of two experts on the topic.

The history of language policy in India continues to remain a bitter one…


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