Don’t impose Hindi on Metro, CM writes to Centre
Bengaluru, (DHNS): Continuing his pro-Kannada stance, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday asked the Union government not to impose Hindi in the Bengaluru’s Metro stations.
In a letter to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar, Siddaramaiah stated that the Centre’s three-language policy “is not reasonable” and that the use of Hindi in signages “is not essential.”
He urged the ministry to reconsider its language policy. He stated that the state government has directed the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) to temporarily redesign signages without using Hindi language/script at the stations.
The new Housing and Urban Affairs ministry has been formed by merging of housing, urban poverty alleviation and urban development ministries, with the latter having funded the Namma Metro project.
In December 2016, the erstwhile Urban Development ministry clarified that signages at Metro stations had to have three languages — regional language, Hindi and English. This, the chief minister said, is contrary to the state’s own policy of using only Kannada and English.
“The cultural aspirations and sentiments of the people of Karnataka need to be respected”.
“Apart from the cultural need to give primacy to the language of the State, it is also practical to use those languages which local people can read and follow…commuters are comfortable reading and understanding Kannada and/or English,” Siddaramaiah mentioned. He also pointed out that although the Centre and State hold equal stake in BMRCL, the financial contribution of the state government was much more.
“Therefore, it would be appropriate that the policies of the state government are implemented,” he stated, urging the Centre to be persuasive in the use of Hindi instead of following a “mandatory” approach. Recounting the anti-Hindi protests, instances of signages being defaced and demands from literateurs and intellectuals to give primacy to Kannada, Siddaramaiah stated “it is counter productive to continue to insist on the use of three languages.”