KARNATAKA

Be adventurous, CM tells Kannadigas

BANGALORE Nov. 24. The Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, on Sunday expressed displeasure over the decline in the number of Kannadigas joining the armed forces, and termed it as a "disturbing trend."

Speaking after launching a series of projects of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to be taken up at a cost of Rs. 170 crore, Mr Krishna said Kannadigas should become more "adventurous" and take up the challenge of exploring the world outside Karnataka.

"I am told that the number of Kannadigas joining the armed forces is dropping at an alarming rate and this is a disturbing trend," he said.

Noting that even Kodavas, whose number was significant in the armed forces, were no more enthusiastic about military service, he said people of the State should rise to the occasion and face the challenge.

"The fact that there are very few Kannadigas outside Karnataka does not surprise me. I don't know why they hesitate to go out of Karnataka to look for new avenues of employment. We are always content with whatever we have here. But, for how long can one depend on Karnataka alone for livelihood. We should venture out and explore employment options," he said.

On the contrary, Kannadigas welcomed non-Kannadigas to the State and played host to them.

"When people from other States can own sites and settle in Bangalore, why can't we have sites in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune or Delhi?"

He said it was difficult to convince Kannadigas to take up "adventurous jobs."

"I have been on the lookout for a person to pilot my official helicopter for the past one-and-a-half years, but I am yet to find one," he said.

The Chief Minister said Bangalore was getting a special mention in a book titled "Indian Dimension" being published by Harvard University.

It was all because of the developments made by it in information technology, aerospace, and other areas.

The new projects would certainly add a new dimension to the image of Bangalore City, he said.

A professor from Harvard University, who visited Bangalore recently, told him about the book, the Chief Minister said.

The Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, H.N.Ananth Kumar, the Social Welfare Minister, A Krishnappa, the Minister of State for Kannada and Culture, Rani Satish, the ruling party leader in the BMP Council, C.M.Nagaraj, chairmen of all the eight standing committees, Opposition leaders in the BMP Council, and corporators were present.