[lg policy] Prakash Belawadi debunks the notion that knowledge of Hindi is equal to nationalism

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 16:08:44 EST 2018

   1. Prakash Belawadi debunks the notion that knowledge of Hindi is equal
   to nationalism

[image: Prakash Belawadi, India Today Conclave, Kannada, Hindi, BJP,
Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Karnataka State Elections]
Prakash Belawadi debunks the notion that knowledge of Hindi is equal to
*"If bank forms don’t have Kannada, then people who have studied in Kannada
medium feel illiterate. Why would you make people feel inadequate?"*

   - Tatsam Mukherjee <https://www.inuth.com/author/tatsam/>
   - Jan 20, 2018


   - Share

The India Today conclave has surely been an eventful one with veteran
actors making good use of the stage, and being vocal about their views.
After Prakash Raj tore through a BJP spokesperson with his fiery discourse,
it was his namesake’s turn to do the same about the overbearing imposition
of Hindi in the state of Karnataka.

*ALSO READ: Why Prakash Raj is the new poster boy of dissent in India

Belawadi, a veteran in his own right, opened the debate without mincing his
words. “The idea of Hindi imposition and to conflate it with nationalism is
entirely bogus. It’s not correct,” he declared.

A still from Talvar

With the state elections only a couple of months away, there seems to be an
insistence to replace local language Kannada with Hindi.

“The idea is an archaic one. It is not about being anti-Hindi, it is about
equity. It is about common sense. In Karnataka, if bank forms don’t have
Kannada, and people who have studied till class 10 go to a bank, they feel
illiterate. Their primary education has been in Kannada medium. Why do you
impose a situation, where you make people feel inadequate in their own
place?”, the veteran actor asked.

Another member of the panel, NS Madhavan pointed out that the currency
printed after demonetisation had numerals in Hindi which was against the
official language policy of the Government of India. A resident of Tamil
Nadu has filed a case with the High Court on the same matter.

A still from Madras Cafe.

Belawadi also spoke out on the need for state flags and that the government
should make it official and provide its support.

“Getting government support – what does that mean? That they want to hoist
the flag on buildings? We are already doing that, the government support
doesn’t mean anything really,” he said.

Having starred in mainstream Bollywood films like *Madras Cafe*, *Airlift*
and *Talvar* – Belawadi is also one of the most well-known theatre
personalities in the Kannada circuit, and is also known for his initiative
as an activist in the state of Karnataka.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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