[lg policy] Bangalore: Is govt really interested in Kannada?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 14 13:40:04 UTC 2011

Is govt really interested in Kannada?

Language policy case comes up for hearing at SC after two years, but
state counsel appears only to say that he is not the advocate

S Shyam Prasad

Posted On Monday, September 12, 2011 at 11:55:54 PM

The State Government put in a proxy attendance in the Supreme Court on
Monday. Hundreds of schools which are fighting against the State’s
Language Policy, were so confident that the state government, which
sat on the case at Supreme Court for two years, wouldn’t send a
representative for the hearing on Monday too, even placing bets on the

And those who bet on a no-show had a victory of sorts. V N Raghupathy,
the state government’s counsel in the SC, was in court when the case
came up. But he told the court that he was not representing the state
in the case and the government would appoint another counsel. The
counsel for the schools wanted the case disposed of as the government
was not interested in pursuing it. The court, however, gave the State
two weeks time.

During the past two years, the state government has not even bothered
to get an advocate to represent its case before the Supreme Court.
Even as the case once again came up before the division bench of
Justice Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan on Monday, several schools
reportedly placed bets on what would happen in the court.

“Before Monday, the matter was last listed 18 months ago. It was last
heard two years ago. So, schools here strongly felt that the
government would simply do what it is best at — seek adjournment on
some frivolous grounds. Some schools had even placed bets. The major
bet was on a ‘no show’ by the government,” said advocate K V
Dhananjay, who represents Karnataka Unaided Schools Management’s
Association (Kusma).

English medium schools in the state had challenged the Language Policy
of Karnataka, introduced by the state government in 2004, which made
Kannada or students’ mother tongue as the mandatory medium of
instruction till Class IV. On July 2, 2008, the Karnataka High Court
struck down the policy, terming it as “unconstitutional”.

The state then challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court,
but the latter refused to stay the high court order, stating, “The
parents should be given a choice in deciding the medium of instruction
for their children. The schools and parents must have an option.”

Meanwhile, the “imposition” of Hindi as one of the three languages to
be taught in schools is receiving increasing opposition. A book in
Kannada, ‘Hindi Herike: Mooru Mantra, Nooru Tantra,’ (Imposition of
Hindi: Three Policies, 100 Tricks) was released recently. Besides, at
a recent seminar on the best language policy India, the speakers
slammed the policy of imposing Hindi on the rest of the country.
Terming the language policy centered around Hindi as unethical, author
PV Narayana said that every language of the Union should be treated on
par and be given equal respect.

T S Nagabharana, president of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy,
said, “The International Indian Film Academy, with a charter to
achieve wider coverage for Indian films, exclusively promotes Hindi
cinema. Hindi movies are ostlynominated for Oscars. Arms of Prasar
Bharati like Doordarshan and Vividh Bharati overtly promote Hindi.
These factors are uppressing other language films.”

 Some schools had even placed bets. The major bet was on a ‘no show’
by the government
Dhananjay,  advocate of KUSUMA


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