In an embarrassment to the BJP leaders who keep harping on the benefits of a ‘double engine government’, president of 86 th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana and renowned poet Doddarange Gowda sought to know what the State and Union governments had really done for the cause of Kannada, particularly with regard to its classical language status.
In his address, copies of which were circulated among mediapersons, Mr. Gowda compared the fund allocation to classical languages for studies and research to bring out the discrimination.
“This is not a complaint from Kannada alone but also of other classical languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Odiya. The Union Government released grants a amounting to ₹643 crore between 2017 and 2020 for studies in Sanskrit. For the same period, grants released for studies and research in Kannada was ₹3 crore and for Tamil ₹23 crore. Between 2017 and 2021, the grant released for Tamil was ₹42 crore. If such is the situation, what is the use of getting classical language status? What has the Union government, which keeps talking about the benefits of double engine government, done for Kannada?”
Mr. Gowda said the responsibility of bringing the money due towards studies in classical language is on the ruling dispensation in Karnataka. He suggested setting up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Minister for Kannada and Culture to pursue the issue. He also suggested constitution of a committee led by additional chief secretary to study the Tamil Nadu model on classical language studies, and emulate the same.
In his 48-page address, Mr. Gowda dealt with issues concerning Kannada and Kannadigas at length, but chose to highlight only a few of them in his speech.
Tech education in Kannada
One of them is the need for facilitating technical education in Kannada. He suggested setting up ‘Kannada Jnana Vijnana Tantrajna Karypade’ (Kannada Knowledge Science Technology Task Force) and bringing out ‘Word Corpus’ to suggest Kannada equivalent for various technical terms.
“This apart, curriculum for technical education in Kannada should be framed. The government should encourage students who come forward to pursue technical education completely in Kannada by bearing their educational expenses,” he said.
He stressed the need for developing Kannada as the language of employment and entrepreneurship, and on use of Kannada in banking institutions. He declared that Kannada had now become ‘vishwamukhi’ (oriented to the world).
More content on OTT
Pointing out the demand for dubbed films in Kannada, particularly on OTT platforms, Mr. Gowda said that Kannadigas should build pressure on getting more original content in Kannada, and the government should come up with supporting policies. He cited the example of Nordic thrillers that are now a million-dollar industry.