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Bengaluru metro language row: Hindi words concealed on signboards in Chickpete, Majestic stations

Protests over the use of Hindi language on signboards in Bengaluru metro stations escalated on Saturday evening when Hindi words were found masked from the signboards in Chickpete and Majestic metro stations, reports said.

While pro-Kannada groups had been making the demand since long, it is not clear who was responsible for this event. A report in The New Indian Express said that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had succumbed to the pressure of the protests and decided to cover up the Hindi words.

Another report from The Indian Express said that the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) was responsible for it. To justify their action, the organisation quoted the example of the neighbouring states of Kerala and Maharashtra where Hindi is not used in the metro, the report said.

The newly-inaugurated Green Line of Namma Metro's Phase-1. PTI

Representaional image of Namma Metro. PTI

The organisation is also trying to get the support of pro-Telugu and pro-Malayam activists to protest against the "imposition" of Hindi, The Hindustan Times reported.

Some social media posts also said that the police had advised the BMRCL to take the step. However, in an interview with The Hindu,  the deputy commissioner of police West MN Anucheth said, “ I categorically state that we have not advised any such thing. Also, on our own we have deployed additional force in a few sensitive metro stations in light of the recent developments.”

The #NammaMetroHindi Beda campaign which was started in June-end has been seeking the removal of Hindi signboards from all Namma Metro stations and also stopping of announcements in Hindi in the metro, the report said.

Amid this campaign, Union minister Ananth Kumar had told PTI,"The railways has been using three languages. In Namma Metro too, the first priority should be Kannada. There should not be any compromise on that. Next Hindi and English should be used."

However, BMRCL had defended the usage of Hindi and said that it was only implementing the Centre's orders. According to it, non-Hindi speaking states were directed to use three languages, state's official language, Hindi, and English, for signboards, announcements and public material for public information in all metro stations.

Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 18:30 PM

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