Karnataka: State to fight High Court verdict on language policy; Appeal to be filed in Supreme Court in two days

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Jul 9 15:05:45 UTC 2008

State to fight High Court verdict on language policy
Special Correspondent

Appeal to be filed in Supreme Court in two days

Next step: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing the meeting to
discuss the steps to be taken in the wake of the High Court ruling on
the medium of instruction in schools, in Bangalore on Tuesday.
BANGALORE: The State Government has decided to file an appeal before
the Supreme Court challenging the recent order of the Karnataka High
Court on the language policy on the medium of instruction in schools.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Kannada writers, educationists,
legal experts, members of various pro-Kannada organisations and
prominent political leaders convened by Chief Minister B.S.
Yeddyurappa here on Tuesday. After a two-hour discussion, the Chief
Minister announced that the Government would file an appeal in two
days. "There is no question of compromising on the language policy of
the State."

1994 policy

The language policy, formulated in 1994, makes it mandatory to impart
primary education (standards one to four) in either the mother tongue
of the child or Kannada. However, the High Court ruled on July 2 that
unaided schools cannot be compelled to follow this policy.

Those who attended the meeting took serious exception to the ruling.
Several writers such as G.S. Shivarudrappa, U.R. Ananthamurthy, M.
Chidananda Murthy and D. Javare Gowda observed that it was not the
question of language, but of education. The High Court ruling would
create disparities between government and unaided schools. While
government and aided schools would have to follow the language policy,
unaided schools could teach in English. This would go against the
intention of the Government to have a uniform primary education
system, they said.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Chandrashekar Patil said the High
Court ruling would result in increased commercialisation of primary


The experts argued that the High Court ruling contradicted a Supreme
Court judgment in favour of teaching in the mother tongue or the
regional language.

In addition to challenging the High Court ruling, the Government
should also instil confidence among parents and students that
employment opportunities would not elude those who studied in the
Kannada medium.

School infrastructure

A major suggestion at the meeting was to improve infrastructure in
government and aided schools to match that of unaided schools.

The Chief Minister agreed to take steps to improve infrastructure in
government schools. Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative
Assembly M. Mallikarjun Kharge, the former Education Minister
Basavaraj Horatti and Janata Dal (United) MLC M.P. Nadagouda also
presented their views.

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