Reiterating that Kannada should be the administrative language to take the administration and government programmes to the majority of Kannada people across the State, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday, November 1, said that he would write to the Centre expressing opposition to conduct of examinations in English and Hindi.
Leading the State-wide celebrations of the 68th Kannada Rajyothsava and 50 years of renaming Mysore state as Karnataka in a colourful event at the Kanteerava Stadium here organised by School Education and Literacy department, the Chief Minister said: “Government correspondence and administrative language should be in Kannada because we have to converse with Kannadigas. Only when corresponding with neighbouring states and the Centre, English should be used. If administration and programmes have to effectively reach people, Kannada should be used effectively.” Asking bureaucrats and politicians to use Kannada, he said: “Use of Kannada should not remain merely a slogan.”
He said that the Centre’s move in conducting examinations in English and Hindi — an issue earlier highlighted by Shivajinagar legislator Rizwan Arshad — should be opposed. “Examination should be conducted in the language known to the locals. I will review it and will write to the Prime Minister.”
Urging people to develop pride about the language, land, water, arts and culture, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “Every Kannadiga should have pride and take oath that they will uphold them. I will not say that we do not have pride at all. However, unlike in other States we do not have that much pride.”
In a veiled advice to non-Kannadigas, the Chief Minister said: “Unlike in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, you can survive in Karnataka by speaking Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil without speaking in Kannada. This is true in several areas. I am not insisting that other languages should not be learnt, but speak in Kannada. Everyone should understand that Kannada is the sovereign language here.” He added, “Every resident should learn Kannada. We have to respect the local language.”
On the medium of instruction, he said: “The medium of instruction should be Kannada and several efforts have been made in this regard. Court is also not cooperating with our efforts and has said that the decision on medium of instruction is with the parents. Kannadigas should make the decision to learn in Kannada medium. At least till SSLC, children should study in Kannada medium.” Stating that people had got into a false understanding on the medium of instruction, he said: “In recent times, the passion for English medium has increased and there is a misnomer that only English medium helps people to become scholars, enlightened and find employment. This is not the right understanding. Several leading scientists from Karnataka studied in Kannada medium and became world famous.”
Dig at BJP
The Chief Minister also took a dig at the previous BJP government for not celebrating the golden jubilee of renaming of the State in a proper manner. “Technically, the State should have observed the event last year and should have completed the celebrations this year. The previous government did not do so. I had announced in the budget that from November 1, 2023 to November 1 2024, the State will observe Karnataka Sambhrama. Till next year, we will create awareness among people.”
He said that to commemorate the 50 years of renaming Mysore State as Karnataka, “Karnataka Sambhrama-50” will be observed with a slogan “Hesarayitu Karnataka-Usiragali Kannada”. The year-long celebration will mark the history, culture, language, music, art and folk of Karnataka across the State to create awareness among people.
The Congress government is making efforts to build a “Vibrant Karnataka” by implementing four of the five guarantees that is empowering people socially and economically, he added.
Free power and water to govt schools
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced the supply of free electricity and water to government schools with immediate effect on Wednesday. His announcement came after a request from the Education Department. The CM said that there have been efforts to improve Kannada medium schools to ensure uniform good quality education.
“However, caste and religion, in some circumstances, are coming in the way of providing quality education. It is possible to provide good education in Kannada medium and government schools also and it is not restricted to English medium alone,” he said.
PM celebrates Karnataka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined Kannadigas in celebrating the 68th Kannada Rajyotsava and the marking 50 years of renaming the State. In a message in both Kannada and English on the social media platform X, the Prime Minister said: “On this Kannada Rajyotsava, we celebrate the spirit of Karnataka — a cradle of ancient innovation and modern enterprise. Its people, a blend of warmth and wisdom, fuel the state’s relentless march towards greatness. May Karnataka continue to thrive, innovate and inspire. This Kannada Rajyotsava, we are celebrating Karnataka’s consciousness.”
Among others who wished people on the occasion of Rajyotsava were former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, former Chief Ministers H.D. Kumaraswamy and Basavaraj Bommai.