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Why Are People Protesting Against Billboards In Bengaluru?


On December 27, a pro-Kannada organisation in Bengaluru set out to protest against the use of the English language in advertisements and signboards. 

A faction of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedika (KRV) took out a march from the Sadahalli toll gate towards the city, engaging in vandalism of various hoardings and billboards.  

Bengaluru Police Commissioner, B Dayananda said that 10 FIRs had been registered and 53 people were arrested, including KRV President, TA Narayana Gowda. 

Why Is The Use Of English Being Protested? 

February 28 has been set as a deadline by the KRV, for all establishments in Bengaluru to implement a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) order, mandating 60% Kannada in signs across the city. Such orders have been issued quite often.

There are 1,400 km of arterial and sub-arterial roads in Bengaluru. The BBMP informed that all commercial establishments will be surveyed zone-wise and notices would be served on those who do not follow the rule.


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Why Are Pro-Kannada Signboards Being Demanded? 

The current issue over languages used in signboards has been a long-standing demand of many pro-Kannada organisations. These groups have also taken to social media to carry out campaigns on Kannadans being “sidelined” as migrants from other parts of the country come to work in the state. 

The presence of non-Kannada speaking staff, from the Hindi heartland, in public sector banks had caused a lot of friction. Altercations between customers and officials, over the use of Hindi, have also been reported. Moreover, only few locals have been hired as new employees in other PSUs operating from the state, increasing tension. 

The KRV, with its motto, ‘Kannada is caste, Kannada is religion and Kannada is God,”  has been at the forefront of agitations over such issues. 

What Is The Response Of The State Government?

A day after the violence, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said that his government will bring in an ordinance to ensure that 60% of space on signboards is dedicated to Kannada, with the rest left to other languages. 

Kannada is supreme in Karnataka and the government will take all steps to promote the language. In the meantime, we will not allow anyone to take the law into their hands. We will initiate action against them,” he stated, over the issue. 

The Deputy Chief Minister said, “For those living and doing business in Bengaluru, there is a law which says signages should have 60% Kannada in them. Everyone should follow it.”


Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Indian Express, The Hindu, The Times of India

Find the blogger: Unusha Ahmad

This post is tagged under: Kannada, South, protests, violence, KRV, Bengaluru, Karnataka, CM, Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM, BBMP, Kannada language protest, DK Shivkumar

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.


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