An online petition demanding that Kannada songs be played along with songs of other languages in clubs and pubs across Karnataka has garnered overwhelming support. At the time of writing, Bengaluru-based Alok Babu’s petition has got more than 80,000 signatures on Change.org in around two months.
In his petition, Alok said that English, Hindi along with occasional Tamil and Telugu songs are played more often than Kannada songs. “The problem highlighted here is the fact that Kannada being the regional language of Karnataka is not given prominence in most pubs and clubs of Karnataka. Especially Bengaluru! While it is predominantly English or Hindi that is played along with some Tamil/Telugu numbers once in a while, seldom does one get to hear popular Kannada numbers being played,” he wrote.
Terming this as “disrespect” to the local language, he claimed that Kannada does not get prominence in the state. “We love and respect all languages similarly asking to love and respect our too which is Kannada! Because respecting you is directly proportional to you respecting our language,” he wrote.
Babu, in his petition, said that as a “gesture of respect” the clubs and pubs should not only play Kannada songs that match the ambience of the venue; he also wants them to promote the regional independent artistes.
Establishments should “help promote and encourage the regional talent and music scene,” he wrote. Further in his petition, Babu mentioned that many native speakers discuss the issue but take no action.
Motivating the people to get the language its “deserving” place, he wrote, “The time has come now, to raise voice for our mother tongue and to get the respectful righteous place it deserves!”
Reiterating his point, he later stated that the demand is not to play only Kannada songs but to include them along with other language songs played in these places every day.
The petition has been addressed to the Government of Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and independent artists like Chandan Shetty, All Ok aka Alok, Babu stated that he wants a rule to be passed. This rule according to him will empower the Kannada music industry and local independent artistes.