A petition protesting the 'imposition' of Hindi on Namma Metro signboards took Twitter by storm on Tuesday as people of Bengaluru urged the Karnataka government to banish the use of the language.
The trend (#NammaMetroHindiBeda), fuelled by a social media campaign by Banavasi Balaga Prakashana, saw people criticise the use of Hindi and called it ‘unnecessary', as it was not the local language.
According to a report in Deccan Herald, Banavasi, an association of Kannada lovers, finds no logical reason behind the move.
"We are not against Hindi but we definitely won’t allow its imposition. The state government should stick to two languages – Kannada and English – in Namma Metro," the report quoted Arun Javagal of the association as saying.
— Hariprasad Holla (@hariprasadholla) June 20, 2017
Javagal said that the association had understood – through several RTIs – that the three-language policy in Namma Metro was not backed by either state or the Centre. According to a report in News18, there are far more 'deserving' languages than Hindi as far the numbers are concerned.
The report says, "Going by the population census, after Kannadigas, the next most populous linguistic communities in Bengaluru are Telugu, Urdu and Tamil speakers in that order. None of their languages has been used in Namma Metro."
It adds, "This data is enough to say that Kannada and English reach the masses in Bengaluru. It is unfair and illogical to give prominence to a language like Hindi, which ranks probably sixth or seventh in terms of the number of speakers in Bengaluru."
— ಅಜ್ಜು (@ajjublr) June 20, 2017
Though Namma Metro gives prominence to Kannada in all the signboards, the Banavasi association feels that such an imposition of Hindi will eventually threaten Kannada. “We are able to send a rocket to Mars but can’t get a railway ticket in Kannada. It’s not that Kannada was never there. Railways used to provide tickets in local languages. But they were phased out gradually,” the Deccan Herald report quoted Javagal as saying.
Hindi will slowly replace English and then Kannada. If English is "foreign" y do Delhi metro & hindi belt uses English? #NammaMetroHindiBeda pic.twitter.com/wNCu16ThrJ — Navaneeth Gowda (@NavaneethGowda1) June 20, 2017
— Babu Ajay (@Babuajay316) June 20, 2017
— Manoj Shastry (@Manojrs008) September 19, 2016
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 17:29 PM