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Karnataka to bring law mandating use of Kannada in all fields — what the draft bill proposes

Karnataka to bring law mandating use of Kannada in all fields — what the draft bill proposes

Karnataka to bring law mandating use of Kannada in all fields — what the draft bill proposes
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 2, 2022 10:36:20 AM IST (Published)

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was referring to the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill. A law will be enacted after the draft bill is passed in the upcoming legislative session, he said.

Amid the debate on 'Hindi imposition, the Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government is mulling enacting a law that makes using the Kannada language mandatory in all spheres of activity. The draft bill on the same will be presented and "passed" in the upcoming legislative session in December.

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"A law will be enacted in the state by getting the bill passed in the coming session of the state legislature on using Kannada in all fields. Once this is done, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government will become the first one to give legal protection for the Kannada language," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was quoted by Indian Today as saying.
He also called for a "free and frank discussion on the proposed legislation in public". He said the government is ready to "accept all the suggestions with an open mind".
Bommai was speaking on the occasion of the 67th Kannada Rajyotsava at Sri Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. Several reports quoted him saying that every language of the country is a 'mother tongue' and all the languages are 'Rashtrabhasha'.
Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill
Bommai was talking about the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill. The bill aims to introduce Kannada as the medium of instruction in schools and colleges across the state. It also emphasises teaching speaking and writing Kannada to non-Kannadigas working in the state, News 18 reported.
Besides giving importance to the language in education and communication, it also seeks to create job reservations for Kannadigas in the government and private sectors, Hindustan Times reported.
The proposal also says that companies which do not give first preference to Kannadigas (domiciled citizen who speaks the language) in jobs will not be eligible for sops and incentives.
"This bill strengthens the authorities to ensure implementation of Kannada across the board. Earlier, there was only disciplinary action against those who did not follow the KDA's orders. But this bill provides for penalty in case of violation, thus making it more effective," TS Nagabharana, chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, told News18.
Row over 'Hindi imposition
Bommai's statement comes at a time when there has been a furore over the Centre's move to allegedly impose Hindi as a language in non-Hindi-speaking states. States, including Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have been opposing the recommendations by the Centre, calling them "impractical, divisive attempts".
A Parliament Committee report recommends making Hindi the medium of instruction in all central educational institutions. The 11th volume of the Report of the Official Language Committee, headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, was submitted to President Droupadi Murmu in September.
According to an Indian Express report, around 100 recommendations were made by the committee. These include that Hindi should be the medium of instruction in IITs, IIMs, and central universities in the Hindi-speaking states. And in other parts of the country, the medium of instruction should be the respective regional languages.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said the proposals made in the 11th volume of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language report are a "direct onslaught on India's soul". "If implemented, the vast non-Hindi speaking population will be made second-class citizens in their land," he had said.
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