Government’s vigorous campaign to push use of Hindi across the country has met with an unwelcome fate in Bengaluru. Not many were happy to see Hindi splashed on various signboards and instructions in Bengaluru (Namma) metro, given it is not the local language.

Their anger gained momentum when people protested against the move on social media, fuelled by a campaign by Banavasi Balaga Prakashana (a group focused on preserving the Kannada language). 

The group on its Facebook page urged the fellow Kannadigas to join its campaign on #nammametrohindibeda and #nammametrokannadasaaku to stop ‘Hindification’ and ensure the primacy of Kannada. 

Citizens kept pouring their anger on Twitter, criticising the ‘unnecessary’ imposition of Hindi, and urged the Karnataka government to do away with all Hindi signboards from the metro. 

Banavasi, the group, which started the campaign says there is no logical reason behind the move.

“We are not against Hindi but we definitely won’t allow its imposition. The state government should stick to two languages – Kannada and English – in Namma Metro,” Arun Javagal of the association told Deccan Herald.

What now?

After the online protests, the Karnataka Development Authority has sought a reply from the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), for violating the rules, within seven days, reported Economic Times.

“Namma Metro is a state project. The display of signs in Hindi is unnecessary and also violates the state government’s notification (dated 2008) and two circulars (dated 1982 and 1993),“ the chairman of the authority Prof SG Siddaramaiah told ET.