‘Need national language policy for people in non-Hindi speaking states’
In view of safeguarding the interests of the people in non-Hindi speaking states, a new national language policy should be framed, said SG Siddaramaiah, former chairman of the Kannada Development Authority (KDA).
He was delivering his inaugural speech, during the seminar on ‘Imposition of Hindi and its Effects’, organized by Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Mysuru city unit, in association with Prajavani and Deccan Herald publications, at Jilla Sahitya Bhavan, Vijayanagar, Mysuru, on Thursday , to mark Karnataka Rajyotsava and 75th anniversary of Prajavani.
Siddaramaiah, also retired Kannada professor and poet, said, “The Constitution should be amended to change Article 343, which states: The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.”
He suggested a change in the present three-language policy of Karnataka, to two-language policy on the lines of Tamil Nadu. “Most people describe Tamils as fanatics, regarding language. But, they love their mother-tongue. We should emulate the Tamils, when it comes to language,” he said.
“It is neither hated nor enmity for Hindi or any other language. But, language is one’s life and livelihood. Even though English is a foreign and colonial language, it promotes equality among all Indians and it does not snatch one’s opportunities and livelihood,” Siddaramaiah said.
He said, “The transformation should start from school education, but the 2015 Education Policy is yet to be implemented in Karnataka, due to the lethargy of the government. Only government school teach Kannada. Now, even government schools teach English, under the guise of Karnataka Public Schools.As per policy, Kannada should be either first or second language in schools in Karnataka.”
Siddaramaiah said that the Center should look beyond Hindi. “As per 2011 Census, there are 19,567 languages as mother-tongue in India. While there are 40 languages with more than 10 lakh speakers, 60 languages have more than one lakh speakers, 122 languages have more than 10,000 speakers and 121 languages, independent “Only 22 are scheduled as national languages. Each language represents the heritage, history, culture and life of the people. Thus, Article 343 of the Constitution is not acceptable,” he said.
R Santosh Nayak, coordinator of Prasaranga, Karnataka State Open University, said, it is not opposition to Hindi, but its imposition under various guises. “There is a lack of system that could nurture the habits of reading, writing and working in Kannada. There is need for jobs in Kannada. One can retain English as link language, as it is already the link language worldwide. However, there is a need for an action plan, to stop the imposition of Hindi,” he said.
President of District Kannada Sahitya Parishat Maddikere Gopal, president of Mysuru city unit KS Shivaramu, Prajavani bureau chief K Narasimha Murthy, Deccan Herald bureau chief TR Sathish Kumar and circulation manager S Prakasha were present.