The KDA Chairman asked Kiran Shaw to visit remote villages in Karnataka and understand the plight of “hapless girl children whose parents are on the verge of taking them out of school”.

Responsible govt nurtures mother tongue KDA head tells Kiran Shaw in war of words
news Controversy Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 09:19

The maiden budget presented by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had proposed a pilot project of introducing English medium education in 1,000 schools. This issue has now sparked a row between Managing Director of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and the Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority SG Siddaramaiah.

While CM Kumaraswamy’s proposal was lauded by many, the Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority and pro-Kannada activists had staunchly opposed it and on Saturday, SG Siddaramaiah and a delegation of activists had met the Chief Minister and asked him to drop the proposal.

Reacting to this development, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, in a tweet on July 7 had said, “Media always portrays a small and insignificant group of nay-sayers as ‘activists’ - these are usually attention seeking trouble makers who don’t care about education nor employment.” She had tagged a news article on the delegation meeting the CM. 

Kiran Majumdar Shaw’s tweet did not go down well with the KDA.  SG Siddaramaiah wrote a strongly-worded letter to the Biocon MD stating that preserving one’s mother tongue was crucial and that her views were devoid of cultural and human values. 

“I express my deepest sense of anguish on reading your tweet on terming Kannada activists as insignificant naysayers. I have no option but to sympathise with your view on education, devoid of cultural and human values. It is but natural for people like you to simple equate education with employment. To wash your hands off by whimsically adopting a few government schools out of your CSR funds and inculcate unwanted English ambitions in their mind,” SG Siddaramaiah’s letter reads.

The KDA Chairman asked Kiran Shaw to visit remote villages in Karnataka and understand the plight of “hapless girl children whose parents are on the verge of taking them out of school”.

SG Siddaramaiah goes on to state that a government school is neither defined by English learning nor its student strength and that the state government must nurture one’s mother tongue.

“Their desire for learning is for empowerment and definitely not defined by your terms. I want you to visit the remote villages and spend quality time with deprived communities to understand the meaning of education in the context of their livelihood,” the letter adds.

“English, swallowing their all creative crendentials and is reducing them into dim witted dolls… When sometimes government starts getting dictated by ‘official dom’, it becomes obvious for the conscience keepers to get in to act and advise. That is what activists led by Kannada Development Authority have done this time,” the letter states.

Replying to SG Siddaramaiah’s letter, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, in a tweet on Monday dubbed the KDA’s reaction as “political malcontents trying to play mischief” with her tweets.

“Political malcontents are trying to play mischief with my tweets. I have said students should learn both Kannada and English for good job opportunities. I stand by this for the sake of Karnataka’s youth. Please don’t twist my comments. CM is also saying this,” the tweet reads.

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