Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kannada boards not for police

Kannada boards not for police

Mukhyamantri Chandru was flummoxed when he came across a barricade that had only English close to his office in Vidhana Soudha

Suchith Kidiyoor
Posted On Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless walking is our preaching, goes the saying. That’s precisely what Kannada Development Authority (KDA) chairman Mukhyamantri Chandru realised when he walked out of his chamber on the third floor of Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday.

Chandru, who has been shouting out loud for mandatory use of Kannada language in all government offices and also in the private sector, was in for a shock when he found a steel barricade on the same floor with all the writings, including an advertisement, in English. Stumped, Chandru walked away silently as he came across the barricade barely minutes after he told media persons on how aggressive the KDA would get in the coming weeks with regard to use of Kannada. The barricade had the words ‘Cubbon Park Police Station, Bangalore’ written and a service advertisement that read ‘Do not drink and drive’ along with an advertisement pertaining to a bank.

According to an order issued in 2000, police personnel should communicate in Kannada language, be it the words on their vehicles or other forms of communication. Another order (issued in 2002) related to advertisements states that at least two lines of the advertisement should be written in Kannada language. However, in the barricades that dot the seat of power, service advertisements displayed on either side do not have even a single letter written in Kannada.

Though Chandru tried to downplay the issue, claiming that the police need to be reminded about the order, officials maintained that use of Kannada in administration has been reduced to mere rhetoric over the years.

Earlier, Chandru set Dec 31 as the deadline for all commercial establishments to changes the nameplates from English to Kannada. “The names should be predominantly in Kannada. They can write in other languages too, but that should be less highlighted,” Chandru said. If the establishments fail to put up Kannada nameboards, a penalty of up to Rs 10,000 will be imposed on them. “If caught subsequently, their licenses will be cancelled,” Chandru added.

KDA authorities said though the government has passed more than 300 orders for use of Kannada in administration, a majority of the officials don’t bother to implement it. “We will organise a workshop for the officials to discuss their problems and find out solutions for implementation of Kannada in administration. Noted Kannada writers will address them so that the officials will understand the importance of Kannada language in administration," he said.

KDA has also decided to honour top scorers of SSLC and PUC who have studied in Kannada medium. A total of 210 students have been selected from four divisions of the state this year and students will be honoured.


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