Sardar Patel’s linguistic state model reason for border disputes, says Doddarange Gowda

President of the 86th Akhila Bharat Kannada Sahitya Sammelana seeks reorganization based on both language and culture

Updated - January 08, 2023 09:29 pm IST

Published - January 08, 2023 05:13 pm IST - HAVERI

President of the 86th Akhila Bharat Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Doddarange Gowda speaking at the session on issues concerning Kannadigas in Haveri on Sunday.

President of the 86th Akhila Bharat Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Doddarange Gowda speaking at the session on issues concerning Kannadigas in Haveri on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SANJAY RITTI

The President of the 86th Akhila Bharat Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Doddarange Gowda said the reorganisation of states based on language, carried out by ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the reason for interstate border disputes.

Speaking at the session on “Gadinadu mattu Horanadu Kannadigara Talamalagalu” (Anxieties of Kannadigas residing in border areas and outside state) on the concluding day of Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Haveri on Sunday, Doddarange Gowda said that Vallabhabai Patil carried out the reorganisation of states unscientifically based only on the criteria of language, which consequently led to various problems.

Mr. Doddarange Gowda accused Vallabhbhai Patel of drawing borders of states without much thought and based only on linguistic lines. He said the real reorganisation of states should have been done based on both culture and language and not just on linguistic lines. “There is need for reorganisation of states based on both language and culture,” he said.

Referring to Karnataka’s border issues with Kerala and Maharashtra, he pointed out that over 90% of the population in Akkalkot, Solapur and Jath region of Maharashtra constituted Kannadigas and they should be included in Karnataka.

Don’t neglect Kannada schools

Resource person Revanasiddappa Jalade took exception to the policy of allowing establishment of English Medium Schools without any restrictions. He said the neglect of Kannada and Kannada schools was intolerable. The government should bring out legislation on strengthening Kannada and Kannada schools, he demanded.

He pointed out that only 48 Kannada schools were remaining now in border areas and emphasised the need for relaxing the regulations that were preventing establishment of Kannada schools. “In the last three years not a single Kannada school has started functioning in Bengaluru, while over 150 English medium schools were established in the same period. The President of the sammelana wants the government to provide education in Kannada medium from Class I to V. The government should consider it seriously and implement it,” he said.

Kannada in border areas

Presiding over the session, the Chairman of the Karnataka Border Area Development Authority C. Somashekhar said that 68 taluks of the State shared border with six neighbouring states. The objectives of the authority was to help build academic and social life in border areas and for that purpose, it had extended a grant of ₹5 crore for cultural programmes. He also stressed the need for reciprocating the action by neighbouring states and setting up such authorities for Kannada development in their states.

Delivering the keynote address, Basavalinga Swami of Akkalkot in Solapur district said that 90% of the people in Solapur-Akkalkot region used Kannada in their day-to-day interactions and for business. Referring to the demand for Belagavi by Maharashtra, he said the government and the people should oppose any such demand at the initial stage.

Eshwar Alevoor spoke on the contribution of Kannadigas residing outside the state in building Kannada, while S. Raghunath spoke on the possibilities of linguistic harmony in border areas. Mr. Eshwar stressed the need for extending adequate grants to associations and organisations working for the cause of Kannada in other states and also sought establishment of a separate authority for the purpose.

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