news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 8, 2014 | 5.10 pm IST Differences over language appear to have erupted in Belagavi again as some Marathi women who had gone to give a memorandum to officials were told to come return with the document in Kannada. Belagavi district border Maharashtra state and has both Kannada and Marathi speakers. Maharashtra and Karnataka both lay claim to scores of villages which lie on the border areas of the two states.  Read: Belagavi, a city which even Kannadigas call Belgaum On Monday, some Marathi women had gone to the Belgaum City Corporation Commissioner’s office to submit a memorandum. Upon learning that the memorandum was in Marathi, Commissioner M R Ravi Kumar asked the women to return with a copy of it Kannada, which is the official language of the corporation. The women reportedly summoned Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) activists, who allegedly abused the Commissioner, following which the latter is considering filing a complaint. MES leader Narayan Kitwadkar however, told The News Minute that the Commissioner should not have rejected the memorandum and asked the women to return with it in Kannada. He said: “The majority of council members are native Marathi speakers. The proceedings always happen in Marathi. When the Commissioner has a translator for the proceedings during Council meetings, why cant he have one in his office where people of all languages come to meet him?” Asked if most people did not speak both languages in the border areas, he said: “I am 58. When I was in school we learned only Marathi. The younger generation (whose mother-tongue is Marathi) today generally speak Kannada as well. But the older generations mostly speak only Marathi. Also, in the urban areas, people speak both Kannada and Marathi, but in the villages, Marathi speakers do not speak any other language.” Commissioner Ravi Kumar could not be reached for comments.

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