Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said that despite being in the golden jubilee year of renaming of the State, it was regrettable to note that there was still a need to create ‘an atmosphere of Kannada’ in Karnataka.
He was addressing a large crowd at Cotton Sale Society on Friday in Gadag, the place which witnessed historic celebrations involving then Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs and the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, during the renaming of state as Karnataka back in 1973.
Remembering the contribution of the champions of Kannada like Alur Venkata Rao and other prominent litterateurs in the unification movement and subsequent renaming of the State as Karnataka, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the seven crore people in the state should take the pledge of reading and writing in Kannada. “It has become necessary and inevitable,” he said.
“If we look at other states, there is Tamil ambience in Tamil Nadu, Malayalam in Kerala, Telugu in Andhra, Marathi in Maharashtra. However, this is not the case in Karnataka and there still is a need for creating the Kannada ambience in Karnataka. There is nothing wrong in learning other languages, but we should remember that we are Kannadigas first. There is a need to change the mindset that one can transact in Karnataka without learning Kannada and to make Kannada ethos deep rooted,” the CM stressed.
Elaborating on the over 2,000-year-old history of the Kannada language, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that Kannada scholars like Pampa produced great epics, five hundred years before Shakespeare achieved fame.
Referring to the egalitarian society propagated by the 12th century sharanas including Basavanna, the CM said that in order to strengthen the ‘Kannadigas’, socially and economically, the government had implemented the five guarantee schemes.
Mr. Siddaramaiah recalled the event of 1973 that the then CM D. Devaraj Urs participated and Agriculture Minister K.H. Patil coordinated. “Today his son and Minister H.K. Patil has coordinated the event and I come from the same district Mysore like Mr. Devaraj Urs. This is coincidental and also historical,” he said.
Referring to B.R. Ambedkar‘s statement that ‘One who did not know history could not create history’, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said that ‘Karnataka Sambhrama-50’ was aimed at retelling history to the people. Mr. Shivakumar said that 50 years ago a grand event was held led by then Minister K.H. Patil and today it was being led by Minister H.K. Patil.
He said, “Saying Karnataka itself is a ‘mantra’ of power and peace. And Karnataka means a model administrative machinery. It is a peaceful garden of all religion and it is a Anubhava Mantapa.” Mr. Shivakumar said that the government was administering the State by keeping the language, culture and history of the State as the basis. He also recalled how Gadag had inspired and given several models that were being implemented across the nation and State.
Earlier, making introductory remarks, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs H.K. Patil spoke about the historical role played by Gadag and contribution to various fields by eminent personalities from the district.
Speaker U.T. Khader, Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti, Ministers Shivaraj Tangadai, K.H. Muniyappa, Laxmi Hebbalkar, Byrati Suresh, Mankal Vaidya, Sharan Prakash Patil, Shivanand Patil, chief whip of council Saleem Ahmed and others were present.