hindi: Karnataka: Clamour for equal status to Kannada and Hindi | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: While chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday reaffirmed his commitment to promote Kannada, stakeholders urged the state government to prevail upon the Centre to accord official language status to Kannada and other regional languages on a par with Hindi and English.
The activists revived their demand of official status to all 23 scheduled languages in the central government administration through a constitutional amendment. They want a resolution passed in the legislature.
Meanwhile, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) is preparing a draft of the Samagra Kannada Bhasha Masoode (Comprehensive Kannada Language Bill) envisaging a single-window agency to implement Kannada in the state administration and frame common rules for promoting it, including signages in public places and commercial establishments.
“The justice for Kannada and Kanndigas can be achieved only through statutory means rather than rhetoric and public speeches. We want the government to pass the Samagra Kannada Bhasha Masoode in the upcoming Belagavi assembly session and pass a resolution seeking a constitutional amendment to the official language policy,” said KDA chairman TS Nagabharana.
Article 343 of the Constitution states that the official language of the Union shall be Hindi along with English and they’re now being used for official purposes by the central government. Language activists want it to be amended to accommodate all scheduled languages, including Kannada. They want Article 351, which says it’s the duty of the Union government to promote Hindi, to be repealed.
“The laws are biased towards Hindi at the cost of regional languages. We’re contacting all MPs and seeking the introduction of a private bill in Parliament. We plan to have a conclave in Bengaluru and the Karnataka state government should chip in by passing a resolution in the assembly,” said Graga Chaterjee, founding trustee, Campaign for Language Equality and Rights (CLEAR).
G Anand, president, Banavasi Balaga, which is spearheading the cause of Kannada, said the chief minister should pass a resolution seeking an amendment to Article 343. Kannada and culture minister V Sunil Kumar said the government would examine the proposal.
“While it’s related to a constitutional amendment, we want to understand it before initiating the process. We’re serious about getting justice to Kannada and Kannadigas,” he asid.

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Sagar Biswas

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