Activists began a fast and protest for 24 hours at 10 am on Wednesday morning at the Gandhi Statue near Race Course Road in Bengaluru. The protest will end at 10 am on Independence Day.
"We have been campaigning for jobs in Karnataka for Kannadigas for the last six months. We are taking the social media campaign and backing it up with a protest on ground to highlight this issue", said Arun Javagal, a member of the Kannada Grahakara Okoota, a pro-Kannada organisation.
In February, the then Karnataka government led by HD Kumaraswamy announced that it will introduce a policy by which Kannadigas will be given 100% reservation for Kannadigas in Group C and D jobs in private establishments. This was partially based on recommendations made in the Sarojini Mahishi Committee report of 1986 which recommended job reservations for Kannadigas in government jobs, public sector units and even in the private sector.
"In February, the government wanted to introduce a policy to give Kannadigas reservation in jobs including the private sector but they did not include Group A and B jobs like the IT industry," said Arun.
Another pro-Kannada activist Ganesh said that "We want to pressurise the govt to bring 100 per cent reservation in all job categories - A,B,C, and D - in both private and government sector. We have seen Andhra Pradesh government which has brought 75% reservation for locals."
AP decision reignites clamour for local job reservation
The activists are demanding a policy similar to the one recently passed by Andhra Pradesh, which has reserved 75 per cent of jobs in industrial units and factories set up under public-private partnership mode for locals. The law also says that companies who are unable to find skilled workers among locals must train them with the support of the government. Andhra Pradesh became the first state in the country to pass such a law in July 2019.
Taking cue from the move made in Andhra Pradesh, Goa is also planning to reserve up to 80% jobs in industrial units receiving State government subsidies for people of Goan origin. "When states like Andhra Pradesh and Goa are doing this when there was no major movement for it, our government should look into the cry for reserving jobs for locals in our own state," Arun added.