Demanding reservation for Kannadigas in private and public-sector jobs, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) conducted a massive protest rally from Bengaluruâ€™s National College grounds to Vidhana Soudha on Saturday.
The members of the Vedike shouted slogans and demanded the implementation of the recommendations made by the Sarojini Mahishi Committee.
The committee report was submitted in 1984. It recommended 100% reservation for Kannadigas in all state government establishments and public sector units. It also recommended 100% reservation for Kannadigas in group 'C' and group 'D' jobs in Central government departments and PSUs operating within Karnataka.
A minimum of 80% and 65% reservation of for Kannadigas for group 'B' and group 'A' jobs respectively in Central Government units and PSUs operating in Karnataka were also part of the recommendations.
Group A officials jobs are that of gazetted officers or the managerial class in government organisations. Group B gazetted officers have similar managerial authorities. Group C employees hold non-supervisory posts like section heads, head clerks and so on, and Group D workers include semi-skilled workers like watchmen, government-appointed drivers etc.
The committee had suggested that all personnel officers in all industrial units in the state should be Kannadigas.
â€śThe Sarojini Mahishi reportâ€™s recommendations have not been implemented by the government for the past three decades. So many Kannadigas are losing their jobs to people from outside the state because of this. Globalization in India has created numerous job opportunities in the private sectors across Karnataka. But the major chunk of these jobs has been taken by outsiders. This is because of the Union governmentâ€™s Hindi-English policy. Kannadigas are suffering because of this. This has also led to uncontrolled migration happening to Karnataka and the local language, culture and economy are under threat. We will fight against the injustice happening to Kannadigas,â€ť said T Narayanagowda, President of KRV.
The Vedike has also submitted a memorandum with a set of demands to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Their demands include 100% job reservation for Kannadigas in state government departments and state-owned industries and jobs in central government offices and industries operating in Karnataka for candidates who have learnt Kannada as a language in school.
The Vedike also demanded that candidates who have learnt Kannada as a language till SSLC in the school should be considered for all the jobs in private sectors in Karnataka, and that there also needs to be a provision to write in Kannada for all the competitive examinations held by state and central governments.
â€śAll the contractual or daily-basis jobs in central and state government departments and industries should be provided to Kannadigas. The same rule should be applied to outsourcing companies as well. Those candidates who have learnt Kannada as a language till SSLC in the school should be considered for all the jobs in central, private and rural banks. These are also our demands,â€ť Narayanagowda said.
The Vedike has also demanded that in order to consider a person as a local, the said person should have stayed in the state for 20 years, must have knowledge about the local language, and should have studied Kannada as one of the languages till class 10.
â€śWe also demand that candidates who have studied till SSLC in Kannada medium or have studied Kannada as a language outside Karnataka should be considered as locals as well. Development of Karnataka is incomplete without the development of Kannadigas. We request that the above demands be included in the framework of law and implement them. The matter is serious,â€ť he added.
The members of the Vedike also cited examples of states like Maharashtra, Odisha and Gujarat, which have laws to ensure reservations and priority for the locals in the jobs created in their respective states.
â€śIf these states can protect their language, there is something to learn from it. Why canâ€™t Karnataka also do the same? We greatly appreciate the CMâ€™s firm stand against Hindi imposition and we urge him to take a bold step to mandate job reservation for Kannadigas in all the government and private sectors and provide a permanent solution for the unemployment issue faced by millions of Kannadigas,â€ť Narayanagowda added.