BJP rules out 'imposing' Hindi in Karnataka amid protests

Bengaluru, Sep 16 (IANS): Accusing the Congress of politicising the language issue, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled out imposing Hindi in Karnataka, an official said on Monday.

"There is no question of imposing Hindi in Karnataka or replacing Kannada or the other local languages in South India. The three-language policy will continue with primacy to Kannada, followed by English and any other local vernacular," the BJP's state unit spokesman G Madhusudana told IANS here.

Protesting against Union Home Minister Amit Shah's call on Saturday to have Hindi as the common or national language, the opposition Congress and the regional Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders and cadres staged demonstrations during the weekend in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi and Kalaburagi for attempting to impose Hindi at the cost of the state language Kannada.

G Madhusudana 

"We are not against Hindi but certainly against its imposition on our people, majority of whose mother tongue is Kannada, followed by Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi across the state," Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters at Mysuru on Sunday.

Celebrating September 14 as 'Hindi Diwas', Shah tweeted and reiterated at a function later in New Delhi that "India is a nation of many languages and every language has its own importance. But it is absolutely necessary to have one language for the country, which becomes India's identity globally. If there is any one language that connect the entire nation in a common thread of unity, it is Hindi, which is spoken the maximum".

Asserting that Shah's message was for having Hindi as a common language among the people whose mother tongue is other than Hindi, Madhusudana said the message was to have a language spoken by the majority as a means of communication than imposing it or substituting it for one's own language.

"Though English is pre-dominantly used as a link language between Hindi-speaking and non-Hindi speaking people across the country as a legacy of the British raj even 74 years after the Independence, a country of 130 crore people has no common language of their own to communicate as Sanskrit was once upon a time," a linguistic expert told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Regional outfit, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, leader Vatal Nagaraj and Karnataka Rakshna Vedike (protection forum) activists have threatened to launch a state-wide joint agitation if the Central government attempts to force Hindi on the people of the southern state.

"As Kannada is the native and official language of about 6 crore people across the state, how can Hindi be imposed or replace it, which is our mother tongue. It can, at best, be like any other language in the country as a second or third medium of interaction or exchange of information and views," Nagaraj told reporters here.

When the state-run Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), a joint venture of the Central and state governments, tried to have all its sign boards only in English and Hindi over three years ago, vociferous protests by the city's 10-million denizens, including thousands of its commuters forced its operator to replace all names in Hindi script (Devangari) in Kannada and warned it of disrupting its services if Hindi was used again or thrust on them.

JD-S leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said Kannada had the same status in the Constitution as Hindi or dozen other scheduled languages, which have their origins in Sanskrit, as the mother of all Indian languages.

"Imposing Hindi as a national language in the state will be against the spirit of federalism and arbitrary in place of Kannada, which the central government has declared as a classical language over a decade ago," noted Kumarswamy, opposing Shah's call.

The Congress state unit President Dinesh Gundu Rao said Shah should read history to know that India was a vast country of unity in diversity with plurality as its ethos.

"The BJP is trying to implement the sinister hidden agenda of its parent organisation (RSS) through a sensitive medium such as the language issue to divide the people and polarize the country," Rao tweeted in Kannada.



Comment on this article

  • John Tauro, M'lore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Hindi was not imposed but accepted in Karnataka over 50 years ago when both the state and centre were ruled by the Congress. So the Congress’ opposition at present is purely political. Hindi is taught free of charge in government schools which can benefit the students in their future. The language is optional for college students. The state government’s official language is and will be Kannada. English is and will always be widely used in business transactions and private establishments. Therefore the question of imposition doesn't arise at all. Why unnecessarily make a hue and cry about it?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    If our Karnataka MPs start speaking in Kannada only in Parliament not any other language, then automatically every one will come to know the beauty of kannada and surely all 545MPs will demand Kannada as official National Language.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Let BJP make a rule one nation one language ,then see the result in next election.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • The Alpha, Bangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    These gujjus talk about unity. But they are the first one to migrate to east or west. Once reached they will start gujju association.

    Why this hypocrisy ????

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • wellwisher, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    How is the idea to start the Hindi and English speaking classes for our elected members.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • S Shetty, Tulunad

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    I feel so happy to see the Kannadigas run for their Language,

    They have not realized that they have not given Importance to Tuluvas and Kodavas also they tried to make us Kannadigas by imposing Kannada everywhere,

    I am so happy, I do not care even if they make Hindi compulsory in Tulunad or Karnataka or anywhere,

    For me Kannada and Hindi are the same

    DisAgree [4] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • AnoNymouS, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Jai Tulunad!!! Tulu is the common language that ties all of us from DK&U together in spite of belonging to different religions. They should make DK&U as a Union Territory like Goa and Pondicherry, or for that matter even JK. We will have our own corrupt leaders dictating terms and developing DK&U as an Educational, Cultural, Commercial and Tourism hub.

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Gangaram, Moodbidri

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    This crook shah already divided people in the name of religion, caste and creed basis.... now he want to further divide India by languages.....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gangaram, Moodbidri

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    This Shah should note that Hindi spoken widely because we South Indians are very much flexible to learn other languages unlike North - east or West states people learning our languages...

    I think India's official language was Urdu and that was made national language of Pakistan after separation ??

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naveen, Tulunad Rajya

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Kannada which is imposed on Tulunad also should be withdrawn. We must promote Tulu and speak only in Tulu

    DisAgree [12] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • N.M, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Tulu is not the only language spoken by native here. There is Konkani and Beary language too which is widely spoken.

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • S Shetty, Tulunad

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Konkani is already given an official place but beary should be recognized.

    Also, I feel Tulunad originally belongs to Tulu people since centuries, Konkani people started migrating later from Goa, don't know about the Bearys,

    But as of today Nama Maaterla Sukott Dukkodu Tulunad du Ulla we are all Tuluvas someway or the other one can not deny the fact.

    So everyone should be happy, and Tulu should get the respect it deserves,

    Mata Saibereg Bokka Porbuleg Yenna Udal Dinjina Solmelu, You all are Great People.

    jai Tulunad

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • k b r, Mangala Uru

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    konkani plus beary language put together might outnumber Tulu speaking population...however most konkanis and beary people know Tulu as well as Kannada.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Considering Tulu, Konkani, Beary and Kodavu, Karnataka should be declared as a multi-lingual state and also considering the fact that Kannada speaking population in the state is around 65 percent.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • ca girishkk, m'lore/dxb

    Tue, Sep 17 2019


    By the Jokers.., for the Jokers, To the jokers...., JUST GOOD FOR DOMBARATA....!!!!!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Azeez Vittal, Dubai

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    It feels the same, when u guys threaten an outsider to learn or talk kannada.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • k b r, Mangala Uru

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    they can make Hindi official language for Gujarath first..if Gujarath model works...for other states

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed K. C., Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 17 2019

    Why do they start at the first place when they will end up taking U turns always.
    If they do not have an idea of measuring consequences, are the eligible to be the law makers ????

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Atlanta

    Mon, Sep 16 2019

    We want Modi to Promise ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • I wish I was There, Bahrain

    Mon, Sep 16 2019

    Tomorrow BJP, is going to tell what to eat and when to s***, how about imposing age limits on Politicians. period.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • RkR, Mangalore/ Dubai

    Mon, Sep 16 2019

    Language Problems in the State Development ?
    Importance of English in Employment and career development ??
    Language based politics?
    Change the system : Qualified candidates representing the nation.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse


Title : BJP rules out 'imposing' Hindi in Karnataka amid protests


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