“If a person is living in Karnataka for so many years, it is better to learn the language.”

Karnataka Sahitya Parishat wants Kannada to be compulsory in schoolsBy Omshivaprakash via Wikimedia Commons
news Education Friday, April 14, 2017 - 17:20

Just days after the Kerala government passed an ordinance to make Malayalam compulsory in schools, a Kannada literary organisation has now demanded that Kannada be made mandatory in all Karnataka schools until Class 10.

President of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Manu Baligar has written a letter demanding the same to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait and Chief Secretary Subash Chandra Kuntia.

"I have just written to the government asking them to make Kannada compulsory, just like Kerala government made Malayalam compulsory. If a person is living in Karnataka for so many years, it is better to learn the language," Manu Baligar told The News Minute.

Incidentally, Karnataka already has such a law — Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015, which was passed in April, 2015 — but the government was yet to frame rules in order to make the Act fit for implementation, a Hindu report by Tanu Kulkarni in May 2016 said.

The law was passed in the Assembly after the Supreme Court in 2014 struck down the state government’s decision to make Kannada mandatory as a medium of instruction.

"State has no power to compel linguistic minority to impart primary education by compulsorily imposing regional language," a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by then Chief Justice RM Lodha said.

Kannada is the most spoken language in Karnataka, with 66% of the population conversing in it. According to the 2011 census of India, Urdu is the second most popular language in the state, spoken by 10.54 % of the population, followed by Telugu (7.03%), Tamil (3.57%), Marathi (3.6%), Tulu (3.0%), Hindi (2.56%), Konkani (1.46%), Malayalam (1.33%) and Kodava Takk (0.3%).

Officials of the Karnataka Education Department could not be reached for a comment.


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