The Chief Minister batted for Kannada pride, and said that everyone who lives in Karnataka is a Kannadiga.

Not learning Kannada is an insult to Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Rajyotsava
news Karnataka Rajyotsava Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 13:26

“Kannadigas are generous people. We love and respect other people. We support them. We should be generous in that way. We should have humanity. But when it comes to the Kannada language, it’s not necessary that we be so generous,” said Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on the occasion of the 62nd Karnataka Rajyotsava at the Kanteerava Stadium in  Bengaluru.

“We should promote respect for Kannada,” Siddaramaiah added.

The Chief Minister in fact went a step further and said that if people in the state don’t learn Kannada, it’s an insult to Karnataka. “I’m not saying don’t learn any other language. I’m not against any language. Learn whichever language you want. But not learning Kannada is an insult to the Kannada land,” he said.

Siddaramaiah also said that everyone who lives in Karnataka is a Kannadiga. “Every person who lives here should learn the language of the land, and should respect it. Not just that, they should teach Kannada to their children also. To establish such an atmosphere, every Kannadiga must fulfil their responsibility, their duty. I’m a Kannadiga first, then I’m an Indian. This feeling should be there,” he said.

Asking that the people of the state do their bit to promote a pro-Kannada atmosphere, the CM said, “In the last 60 years, the Kannada land and language have progressed a lot. But in Karnataka, I think we haven’t been successful in creating an atmosphere conducive to Kannada.”

This is not the first time that the Chief Minister has batted for a pro-Kannada stance. With the Assembly elections less than a year away, the pro-Kannada sentiment has been brought up by several politicians in the state in the recent past. Speaking about his decision to make Kannada compulsory in all schools in the state, Siddaramiah said, “Every state’s mother tongue should be the language of primary education - we should bring this into the Constitution. I asked them (Chief Ministers of all states) to write such a letter to the Prime Minister. I wrote twice to the Prime Minister myself. But so far, the Prime Minister hasn’t bothered about it.”

Kannada in schools

Speaking on the recent notification passed by the state government, the CM assured that English will be also given priority. “Our state should teach English as a language from Class 1 for sure. Our children should also learn English. I’ve given this order. We’ve also said that Kannada should become the medium of instruction (sic). Also, in all English medium schools, in all CBSE schools, in all ICSE schools, they should all teach Kannada as a language – we’ve passed this order as well. Because you must learn Kannada,” he said.

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