The pro-Kannada wave continues in Bengaluru, as the government’s own Kannada Development Authority has demanded the mandatory usage of Kannada on signboards.
On Wednesday, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said that a one-month deadline has been set for all commercial establishments to put up Kannada signboards.
“The order on mandatory use of Kannada in name boards of shops and commercial complexes will be implemented strictly,” he said, speaking at the Rajyotsava celebrations organised by the Akhila Karnataka Kannada Chalavali Kendra in Bengaluru.
At least 60% of the signboards of shops and commercial complexes need to be in Kannada, George said.
“If this policy is not followed, the BBMP will be directed to cancel the trade licences of the shops,” he added.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Rajyotsava celebrations outside the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike office, BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said that the policy will be implemented strictly.
“The BBMP already issued a circular about three months ago regarding the mandatory inclusion of Kannada in name boards of shops and malls. We have pushed the deadline forward by a month. If the signboards are not in Kannada even after this, their trade licenses will be cancelled,” he said.
The commissioner said that trade licences will be issued for new shops only if they have implemented this rule.
“There is no question of not implementing this policy. The Kannada Development Authority had given BBMP a three-month deadline, but the BBMP has extended it by a month. A meeting will be held shortly to see the BBMP’s progress in implementing the policy,” Minister George also said.
Minister George went a step ahead and said that people from other states who come and reside in Karnataka must learn Kannada and teach the language to their children as well.
When questioned if this amounted to language imposition, George said that “this is the state government’s stand and there will be no question of going back on it. No compromise in this regard. If people from other states come here they must learn Kannada.”
In 2009, the state government had decided to impose a fine of Rs 10000 on owners of shops who refused to display Kannada signboards.