Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: President of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha Vatal Nagaraj has cautioned the Centre of launching a Statewide agitation from November 15 if the demand to accord classical language status to Kannada is not met by November 1.

He also warned of observing a Karnataka bandh on November 24 to put pressure on the Union Government.

Inaugurating a symposium on the “Purpose of forming linguistic states” by Kannada Chaluvali Kendra Samiti here on Sunday, he alleged that successive governments had failed to protect the interests of Kannadigas in border areas and outside the State.

“They have forgotten the purpose with which linguistic States were formed in 1956. They have not bothered to implement Kannada as the official language till date,” he regretted.

Criticising Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for setting November 1 as the deadline for the Union Government to accord classical language status to Kannada, he sought to know what the Chief Minister had been doing all these days. He asked if Mr. Yeddyurappa had consulted the Opposition parties and Kannada organisations before announcing that a dharna would be staged in front of Parliament, he asked.

There should be some weight in the statements issued by the Chief Minister of a State.

He could not make instant announcements regarding matters pertaining to the State to meet political ends, he said.

The former Speaker in the Assembly Krishna attributed the lack of political will for the delay in getting classical language status for Kannada. Only people could strengthen “political will” through continuous pressure by launching agitations. Agitations had died a natural death because of increase in money and caste considerations during the elections.

There was nobody in the Assembly now to raise issues pertaining to land and language, he said.

The former Minister for Kannada and Culture H.S. Mahadeva Prasad said that elected representatives were forcing Kannada activists to take to violence to get justice and that was a dangerous trend.

There was no consensus among writers regarding classical language status for Kannada.