Noted poet Doddarange Gowda said that he does not tolerate any kind of imposition of Hindi or English on Kannadigas.

Doddarangegowda posing for the cameraFile image/official website
news Controversy Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 10:00

Noted Kannada poet, lyricist and academician Doddarange Gowda on Wednesday tendered an unconditional public apology after he recently stated that everyone must respect Hindi, as it is "a national language". In a handwritten single page letter written in Kannada, Doddarange Gowda declared that he adored the Kannada language.

"I never intended to carry Hindi on my head at the cost of Kannada. I am a devoted-worshipper of the Kannada language from the bottom of my heart. I carry Kannada on my head and not any other language," he said. He also said that he does not tolerate any kind of imposition of Hindi or English on Kannadigas. "I apologise if my words hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas," he said.

Doddarange Gowda's statement on Hindi came in an interview given to a Kannada publication after he was chosen to preside over the 86th annual session of the prestigious Kannada Sahitya Sammelan (Kannada Literature Conference) that is scheduled in Haveri next month.

As soon as the interview was published three days ago, he received widespread criticism and outrage for keeping Hindi above all other languages, by labelling it as a national language. Hindi, however, is not the national language and is one of 22 official languages in India, as per Article 434 of the Constitution. 

While batting for Hindi l, Doddarange Gowda had asserted that if foreign English language is accepted "wholeheartedly" by Kannadigas, what prevents them from accepting Hindi, which is a native language? The very reason for Kannadigas not accepting Hindi as national language was something he has so far never understood, he had said.

The Kannada Literature Conference, held with the aim of preserving and developing Kannada language, its literature, arts, culture and music, was started in 1915 by HV Nanjundaiah and the inaugural session was held at Bengaluru.

It used to be inaugurated by prominent writers and poets from 1915 to 1948. Since 1948, this event has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Karnataka and presided over by a prominent literary personality. 

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