Language row: Yediyurappa vows to protect Kannada

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on September 16, 2019 Published on September 16, 2019

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa   -  K MURALI KUMAR

Home Minister Amit Shah’s ‘suggestion’ to make Hindi a link-language has sparked a heated debate in Karnataka.

After two days of Opposition-bashing, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa went into damage control mode on Monday by reiterating his government’s commitment to Kannada.

Yediyurappa tweeted: “All official languages in our country are equal. However, as far as Karnataka is concerned, #Kannada is the principal language. We will never compromise on its importance and are committed to promoting Kannada and our State’s culture.” Reacting sharply to Shah’s ‘suggestion’, Opposition leader in Karnataka Assembly and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “India has a rich history and a diverse geography. Each explains its own vibrant culture and practice. We have to embrace the diversity to remain united. @AmitShah is like a wicked insider in a joint family who find ways to break the unity. This home wrecker needs to be taught a lesson!!”

Karnataka Minister for Kannada and Culture CT Ravi lashed out at Congress leader Siddaramaiah. Ravi tweeted a speech made by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2010, in which the Congress leader is heard appealing for promotion of Hindi across the country. “In 2010, your party’s (Congress) senior leader P Chidambaram demanded that Hindi be used as a national language. With whom did you mortgage your fake love for Kannada?” he questioned.

Former minister Krishna Byre Gowda, too, joined the #StopHindiImposition chorus: “The BJP leadership wants to divide Indians on the basis of language for politics. This is a tactic to divide, distort and divert attention away from real issues of unemployment and a faltering economy,” he tweeted.

Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, and other regional languages represent India as much as Hindi. We cannot make these languages in any way inferior to Hindi. Are these languages and cultures not Indian? For a strong and united India, let us equally respect all languages, cultures and Indians. Nothing and nobody is superior or inferior.”

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Published on September 16, 2019
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