Over the past few months, pro-Kannada campaign gained huge momentum in Karnataka after 'Namma Metro Hindi Beda' took Twitter by storm.
Now, a youth group – Jai Tulunad, has started a campaign called Tweet Tulunad, demanding that Tulu be included as an official language in India.
On Thursday, to mark the third anniversary of the organisation, thousands of youth began tweeting from 6 am, demanding that Tulu be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
With the hashtag #TuluTo8thSchedule, members of the organisation began tweeting aggressively, after which the campaign gained momentum.
I support #TuluTo8thSchedule as it will result in the preservation of intellectual thoughts,unite & strengthen minds of millions all across.— C.T.Ravi (@CTRavi_BJP) August 10, 2017
Ashwath Tuluve, President of Jai Tulunad is expecting over 20,000 people to join in the campaign, which will end at 9 pm.
“We are expecting at least 20,000 tweets for this campaign. We started at 6 am. We have tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj. Apart from these leaders, tweets have been directed at Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, Minister for Kannada and Culture Umashree, and also Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. This is because there is a sizable Tulu-speaking population in Kerala,” Ashwath Tuluve said.
Tweet Tulunad put out thousands of tweets in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Tulu, Malayalam, Kannada, Beary, Kodava and Konkani languages.
“When Kannadigas felt the threat of Hindi imposition, they campaigned for their language and won. We want to protect our mother tongue as well,” Tuluve added.
Jai Tulunad has approached several MLAs and MPs in Dakshina Kannada and memorandums have been submitted to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister, demanding that Tulu be made an official language.
“Ours is not a new struggle. We had submitted these memorandums long ago and no one has bothered to respond or take action. We demand to know why we are being neglected. We are a peaceful organisation and follow the principle of Mahatma Gandhi. We will ensure that Tulu is included in the Eight Schedule through non-violent methods of protest,” Tuluve said.
The organization is planning to create videos of actors and celebrities from the region to support their cause.
“All members of our organisation have changed their surname to Tuluve. We have about 2,500 to 3,000 active members and about 17,000 other members. Since the past three years, we have been teaching Tulu to school children. Speaking in Kannada and English is acceptable in school but not Tulu. Many children, for this very reason, hesitate to speak Tulu,” Ashwath Tuluve added.
Just like the pro-Kannada outfits, which demanded that Hindi signs be removed from Metro Stations in Bengaluru, Ashwath Tuluve and the members of Jai Tulunad said that a comprehensive campaign would soon roll out, where the names of places, which were earlier in Tulu, were changed to suit the Kannada speaking crowd.
“Udupi was Odipu, Ubar has been changed to Uppinangady and Poopadikallu has changed to Hoovuhakuvakallu. We have documented the names of all the places, where Tulu was wiped out to replace Kannada. We demand that our language be preserved. It is our right,” Ashwath Tuluve said.