The Kannada organisations staged a demonstration at Mysuru Bank circle in Bengaluru.

Kannada organisations staging a demonstration at Mysuru Bank circle in Bengaluru.
news Protest Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 18:12

Several Kannada organisations staged a protest at Bengaluru’s Mysuru Bank Circle against Hindi imposition on September 14 which is observed as Hindi Day or Hindi Diwas in India. The organisations demanded that September 14 be celebrated as Karnataka Regional Day instead. The protestors chanted that it is the “darkest day for Kannadigas”. Meanwhile, the protests, in which JD(S) joined in, was online too, with people trending #StopHindiImposition.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah urged "all countrymen to take a pledge to progressively use the official language Hindi along with their mother tongue in basic works."

Even as these comments came from the Home Minister, protests went on in Bengaluru. The Karnataka R kshana Vedike lit on fire a vinyl poster, garlanded with footwear, which had Hindi written over it with popular musician Lil Nas X’s portrayal of Satan from his latest song Montero. Headed by Shivarame Gowda, the protestor chanted slogans against the Hindi imposition by the Union government. 

Subsequently, another section of protestors sat in the middle of the road to protest against Hindi imposition. The police had to lathi-charge the protestors to clear the road to enable traffic’s movement through the junction.

Gowda of KRV alleged that the Union government’s Hindi imposition is detrimental to the regional languages of the Indian states. “The Indian sub-continent as known today is formed with different states. Hindi imposition of the Union government is detrimental to our regional identities and thus we are protesting today,” Gowda said.

Leaders of the political party Janata Dal (Secular) also staged protests across the state. JD(S) leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also tweeted on the issue saying, “Union of India is multicultural, multilingual; then why try to glorify a single language,” he wrote. “Kannada language is the first in our land [Karnataka]. Hindi Day celebration is inadequate. Multilingual India's comfort should not be disturbed by the imposition of Hindi,” he further tweeted. 

The KRV president TA Narayana Gowda had written that the group had decided to protest against Hindi imposition at banks. Activists had planned to demonstrate outside nationalised and rural banks across Karnataka and petition branch managers to provide services in Kannada. Gowda had also told that they will petition to all MLAs and MPs demanding that they raise the issue in the Assembly and the Parliament, reported The Hindu. 

On social media, activists pointed out that the protests were not against Hindi as a language, but against the imposition of Hindi.

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