news Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 05:30
  Facebook has become a battleground for fierce proponents of Kannada and non-Kannadigas who oppose Kannada-supporters. Last week, a few pro-Kannada groups on Facebook were up in arms against individuals who were making ‘offensive’ statements against Kannada and Kannadigas. Such was the intensity of the battle that one individual had to pay the price by losing his job and several others were forced to shut their social media accounts due to the outrage. On Saturday a Bengaluru-based Facebook user Chaithra Gowda stumbled upon a group called “Say No to Kannada” and was upset over messages that were allegedly written against the language. An enraged Chaithra spread the word on social media about the group and with the help of others, started counter group called – “Say No to those who say No to Kannada”. The group informed other Facebook users to report against the page as they felt the content on “Say No to Kannada” was promoting hate speech. "Say No to Kannada" group had several posts making fun of the language. Within hours, many members came in support of “Say No to those who say No to Kannada” and even went to the extent of abusing a few members of the anti-Kannada group. They demanded unconditional apology from few of its members or face consequences. Members of “Say No to Kannada” relented and one of its members Vignesh Sherlekar, posted an apology stating that the group was started as “personal forum” by a bunch of youngsters who as school children found it difficult to learn Kannada and pass exams. He said that the group was being used to vent their frustration about difficulty in learning language from an educational point of view. Image courtesy: Say "NO" to those who say NO to Kannada/ Facebook That’s not all; recently a Chennai-based property developer Casa Grande fired its sales manager Chirag Mittal for commenting negatively against Kannadigas. Mittal was posted in Bengaluru to oversee its operations. According to a Bangalore Mirror report, Mittal had reportedly posted a comment on his wall as "Lol... (we) came from other states and ruling here and these local people are working under us. It is hurting, I can understand, I have 5 local people working under me too." (sic) The comment sparked off a debate that was picked up by a group called “Samanya Kannadiga” (Ordinary Kannadiga) where the discussion intensified.  The report says that many called up Mittal’s office and even sent mails. Though Mittal apologised for his comments, he lost his job. A few members of the group got hold of the termination letter of Mittal which was widely circulated on Facebook and some even said that it was a “proud moment”. Fearing further backlash, most of the Facebook users who were targeted by such groups have deactivated their accounts and the groups which were reported as “abusive” have been taken down. But a new one keeps popping up almost everyday.  
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.