Bengaluru Phoenix Mall of Asia says it has Kannada signage and will abide by rules

Phoenix Mall of Asia in Hebbal and Phoenix Marketcity in Whitefield had to be shut on Wednesday, September 27, after protesters vandalised them for not putting up signages in Kannada.
Phoenix Mall of Asia, Hebbal
Phoenix Mall of Asia, Hebbal
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The Phoenix Mall of Asia in Hebbal in Bengaluru said they have incorporated Kannada signage and will adhere to rules and regulations. Tensions escalated on December 27, leading to the temporary shutdown of Phoenix Mall of Asia in Hebbal and Phoenix Marketcity in Whitefield after pro-Kannada organisation Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) protested on December 27, against commercial establishments who had not put up signages in Kannada. 

The KRV started a rally from Sadahalli near Devanahalli on Wednesday morning to Cubbon Park to raise awareness about the requirement for all signages to prominently display Kannada language (60% of the space). However, the rally turned aggressive as KRV activists dispersed across the city, targeting shops and establishments which did not have Kannada signage or displaying Kannada in a smaller font compared to English.

Phoenix Mall of Asia in Hebbal and Phoenix Marketcity in Whitefield were forced to shut for the day. In response to the situation, the Phoenix Mall of Asia issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to state rules and regulations, emphasising the adoption of Kannada signage. “The Phoenix Mall of Asia reaffirms its commitment to adherence to state rules and regulations by incorporating Kannada signage at the mall's premises. This strategic initiative not only underscores the mall's dedication to comply but also reflects the respect for the cultural context of the region,” the statement read.

It further said, “The inclusion of Kannada signage is a testament to our commitment to operate within the legal framework and align with local guidelines. The Phoenix Mall of Asia remains steadfast in upholding ethical business practices and regulatory compliances, further enhancing the overall experience for our patrons. The Phoenix Mall of Asia believes that this approach not only contributes to the seamless operation of the mall but also fosters a deeper connection with the community they serve.”

KRV activists however said that there were several signboards in the mall that did not have Kannada signage.

The requirement that 60% of signage space of all commercial establishments in Bengaluru would have Kannada language has been in place since 20 o-2020. As outlined in BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bye-laws, each property is permitted to exhibit a maximum of ten information "units" with a language distribution ratio of 60:40, favouring Kannada over the secondary language. It is important to note that any unused allocation in one language cannot be transferred to the other. It also mentions  that the font size of the secondary language must not surpass 80mm.

With pro-Kannada organisations insisting that the rule has to be implemented, the BBMP issued a new deadline of February 28, 2023. KRV however said that shops and establishments have been given several deadlines, and many of them had still not complied and went ahead with the protest.

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