KRV activists said they had given the BMRCL a deadline to remove Hindi signs, and blackened them after the deadline expired.

Protesting against Hindi imposition activists blacken signs in Bengaluru metro stationsImages from Twitter
news Politics Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:47

The Namma Metro Hindi Beda campaign took a new turn on Thursday, with a group of activists resorting to blackening Hindi signs in multiple metro stations.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, several members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike barged into multiple metro stations shouted slogans against Hindi imposition, and daubed black paint over Hindi signs. Among the stations where they blackened signs were Deepanjali Nagar, Peenya, Jayanagar, Baiyappanahalli, Indiranagar, Mysuru Road and Yeshwantpur.

The activists also said that they would continue covering up Hindi signs, as their demands have not been met.

However, they were not successful at all stations. When some activists attempted to barge into the MG Road metro station, the security personnel deployed there stopped them and handed them over to the police.

“We will not stop until BMRCL and the government relent and remove the Hindi signs. We had issued a deadline to BMRCL to remove the signs. The deadline got over on Wednesday. So, we started covering up the Hindi signs,” said Ganesh Chethan, a member of the KRV.

The issue of Hindi signs in Namma Metro stations have been a subject of pitched controversy ever since the Green Line running between Yelachanahalli and Nagasandra stations was inaugurated. Supporters of the campaign argued that the Namma Metro should not follow the three-language formula when other metros did not do so.

As the campaign gathered steam, Hindi signs in many stations were taped over, though Namma Metro officials declined to take responsibility for this.

Recently, the KRV also convened a meeting with representatives of language activists and political party representatives from non-Hindi speaking states on the question of Hindi imposition.

Language activists from political parties like the MNS and DMK had condemned Hindi imposition during this meet.

“Why should Hindi be imposed? Just last Saturday, the Vedike had convened a meeting of representatives from non-Hindi speaking states. It was decided that we will not stop fighting against Hindi imposition. So, we will not stop,” Ganesh Chetan added.

This is not the first time that the KRV has blackened Hindi signs in Bengaluru. On July 6, its members had blackened the signboard of a restaurant in Bellandur's Ecospace Tech Park.

KRV members claimed that the restaurant’s signs were blackened as they were in Telugu, Hindi and English but not in Kannada.

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