Hindi row renewed in Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy spars with government
The Hindi imposition row has been renewed in Karnataka after a purported circular on selecting students with knowledge of Hindi for a tour of Uttarakhand was widely shared.
In Karnataka, the Hindi imposition row has been renewed after a purported circular - on selecting students with knowledge of Hindi for a tour of Uttarakhand - was widely shared on social media. The controversy has elicited sharp reactions from the Janata Dal (Secular) even after officials clarified that there was no such direction either from the state or the central government on the matter.
The purported circular, according to news agency ANI, stated that a tour has been organised for students to other states as part of the 75th Independence day celebrations (Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav) under the "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" initiative. "Among the students studying in the second-year PUC (pre-university) college, it has been instructed to select students who can speak Hindi, have understanding of technology, and are interested in cultural and sports activities."
In the midst of criticism on social media, the Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh clarified in a tweet: “Neither the Centre nor the state government have given instruction that knowledge of Hindi or English language is mandatory for students to take part in a tour programme to other states, as part of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav.” "The department will take disciplinary action against officials responsible for creating confusion," he wrote.
But former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy took to Twitter to express shock, calling it a "heinous betrayal to Kannada".
“BJP governments in the Centre & the State which are conspiring for ‘One Bharat, One Language’ policy are involved in heinousness act of ignoring Kannada students during school excursion. This is inexcusable & condemnable (sic),” he wrote in a seven-post Twitter thread.
"The government has chosen only Hindi speaking High School and PUC students to send for other State tours under the programme 'One Bharat, Shreshta Bharat' organised as part of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence (sic)," the JD(S) leader added in his tweet. “The State government and the education Minister are directly responsible for this catastrophic order. Can there be such an order without the government’s knowledge? This is a mirror to this ignorant government,” he further wrote.
Demanding the withdrawal of the order, Kumaraswamy warned of taking to the streets for protest if action was not taken on the issue.
(With agency inputs)