Boards with Hindi signs were removed from at least three stations.

Kannada pride wins the day Hindi signboards removed from Bengalurus Namma Metro
news Hindi Imposition Friday, August 04, 2017 - 20:08

After days of strong campaign against the use of Hindi in Bengaluru's Namma Metro sign boards, Metro officials finally started removing the boards on Friday.

Boards with Hindi signs were removed from at least three stations on Friday.

Many Kannada groups and even the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah had objected to the three-language policy by the central government on metros that mandated the use of Hindi along with English and the local lnaguage.

On July 28, CM Siddaramaiah had written to Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar asking for the removal of the signages. 

“I would like to submit here that the stand of the Government of India of using three-language formula is not reasonable,” CM Siddaramaiah, wrote in his letter.

Siddaramaiah stated that the “cultural aspirations and sentiments of the people of Karnataka needs to be respected”, while adding that it is also practical to use languages which local people can understand and follow.

"Therefore, the state government is compelled to ask the BMRCL to temporarily redesign the signages in metro stations and remove Hindi script,” the letter said.

Over the past few days, groups like the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had blackened several signs on the Metro. There were reports that Namma Metro was worried that stations which had Hindi sign boards would be targeted.

The Urban Development Department's order, dated December 9, 2016, makes it compulsory for non-Hindi speaking states to use Hindi in Metro signs.

Many political parties, the Karnataka Development Authority and Kannada groups had questioned on what basis the centre had chosen Hindi as the third language. They had pointed out that there were many Tamil and Telugu speakers in Bengaluru than Hindi speakers.

Speaking to TNM, the KDA's Chairman, SG Siddaramaiah said that it is necessary for people to respect the Kannada language and the culture of Karnataka, if they wish to live in the state and benefit from its resources.
"In Karnataka, after Kannadigas, Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati population is higher than the Hindi-speaking population. Why should Hindi be made the third language? Why can it not be Telugu or Tamil? Personally, I believe in the two-language policy of Kannada and English, but since there is a large population of people who speak other languages more than Hindi, shouldn’t those languages also be given preference?" the KDA Chairman asked.