K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

But they voice their anxiety over the future of Kannada

Bangalore: With the Government’s decision to file a Special Leave Petition (SPL) in the Supreme Court seeking reversal of the ruling of the High Court of Karnataka on the language policy, most Kannada writers and activists feel reassured. Anxiety, though, persists on the future of Kannada.

For “Mukhyamantri” Chandru, actor and Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, the High Court’s ruling is disappointing as it is contrary to the cause of social justice. He said the ruling was not in conformity with the earlier Supreme Court rulings on the issue of teaching mother tongue. He is, however, hopeful that the long-pending issue would be settled in favour of the State without any ambiguities.

Siddalingiah, Dalit poet and Chairman of Kannada Book Authority, argued that the ruling would further promote commerce in the money-infested education system.

The Government should make it clear, in the proposed petition, how children would be deprived of an opportunity to learn Kannada language, literature and culture, if the High Court ruling was enforced as it is.

Former president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat and playwright Chandrashekhar Patil is of the opinion that the ruling is a “challenge to the sovereignty” of Kannada.

“With due respects to judiciary, it is impossible to accept and enforce the ruling from a ‘holistic point of view’,” he said. The Government should first make efforts to obtain a stay order and pursue the rest of the legal course on priority, he said.

According to Ham.Pa. Nagarajaiah, another former president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat and writer, the ruling does gross injustice to the tenets of primary education. It would promote privatisation and marketing education on the one hand and step up inequality on the other.

Expressing a similar view, filmmaker and writer Baragur Ramachandrappa said that the existing dichotomy in the education system should be addressed through a visionary language policy without compromising with the prime status of Kannada.

Kannada poet and MLC Doddarange Gowda said that irrespective of the status of the school, whether unaided private school or Government school, education should be made available in Kannada at the primary level.

It has been established by educationists and psychologists that children grasp things best when communication is in their mother tongue, he said.

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