Siddaramaiah also asked the Centre to review its three-language policy.

Now Karnataka CM writes to Centre Must remove Hindi script from Namma Metro
news Hindi Imposition Friday, July 28, 2017 - 17:11

Giving voice to the Namma Metro Hindi Beda campaign, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday wrote to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Narendra Singh Tomar asking him to remove the usage of Hindi in Metro signs.

Siddaramaiah’s letter also suggested that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has been temporarily asked to remove Hindi 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 states 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 states.

Stating that the financial contribution of the Karnataka government is more than that of the Centre in Namma Metro, Siddaramaiah said “it would be appropriate that the policies of the state government be implemented in the project” and urged Union Minister Narendra Tomar to review the Centre’s three-language policy.

“Athough the state government has dealt with those who defaced the signages and maintained law and order in and around metro stations, you would agree that in the face of continued agitation and demands from literatuers and intellectuals of the city for giving primacy to the language of the state and the languages with which the people of the city are comfortable with, it is counter-productive to continue using the three-language policy,” the CM’s letter states.

Stating that the matter is a “sensitive” one, CM Siddaramaih stated that “it will be better to follow a persuasive approach rather than a mandatory one in the use of Hindi”.

When the first leg of Namma Metro was completed (Baiyappanahalli to MG Road), minor protests arose regarding the usage of Hindi signages. At the time, the Karnataka Chief Secretary had written to the Chief Secretary of the Urban Development Ministry asking it to approve of using only two languages.

However, the UDD's order, dated December 9, 2016, makes it compulsory for non-Hindi speaking states to use Hindi in Metro signs.

Upon the completion of the Metro's Phase 1 in June this year, the Namma Metro Hindi Beda campaign gained momentum.

After the campaign against Hindi imposition grew, activists from Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had blackened Hindi signs in several Metro stations across Bengaluru. 

The activists had also staged protests outside the Vijayanagar Metro demanding that the government remove the Hindi signs.

Following the agitation against Hindi imposition, Chairman of Kannada Development Authority SG Siddaramaiah had visited the Director of BMRCL, Pradeep Singh Kharola on Tuesday asking him to remove the Hindi signs in Metro stations.

On Wednesday, a senior BMRCL official had told TNM that the agency had assured KDA verbally that the Hindi signs would be removed once the state government issued orders.