The pro-Kannada language debate that was started over the social media by a few self-proclaimed rationalists has been well leveraged by Siddaramaiah’s Congress. The social media posts although initially seemed to initiate a well-meaning debate, soon morphed into South vs North Indian hysteria! Before anybody could reflect or reiterate their stands, the pro-Kannada groups, propped up under whose discourses is anybody’s guess, had hijacked the issue smugly smearing their political soot all over the place.
A Congress that was clamoring to take away all the credit for itself, in its pitch to suppress the center’s contribution of funds in the metro rail project saw this as an opportunity to score all points by painting the BJP as a North Indian party.
At a time when the Congress party boasts about Karnataka becoming a growing hub of Industrial investments it does not hesitate to cast its ugly spell of linguistic politics where it calls itself as a savior of the Kannada language at the cost of dividing its linguistically diverse population that too at a time when they are unapologetically propounding and propagating a Jayanthi in the name of a Tipu who did everything to sabotage the growth of the Kannada language.
While soaring growth of a language does not imply striking down of another official language, the political parties are busy bickering at each other over the language issue but a peek into the ground realities tell a different tale, as per a Hindu news report thehindu
in the year 2017 alone a whopping 18 Government aided Kannada medium schools have been asked to shut down as their recognition and grants have been gradually removed stating shortage of minimum numbers.
Another report outlook reveals that it is the same story across the state as many Kannada medium schools do not receive the necessary resources, funds or commitment from the Governments to promote Kannada nor aid them in sustaining themselves in a growing environment of mushrooming English Private Schools(mind you they are not Hindi schools). There is visibly nil or no improvement or hand holding given to these schools in the interest of Kannada or quality education in Government schools for that matter!
In such a scenario while the Congress’s compulsory introduction to Kannada in schools and Banks/Government offices may be well received by the locals who feel that their language is fast disappearing from the conversation rooms, the newfound chest thumping Kannada card and the farcical face that the Congress seems to portray as the Kannada messiah definitely does not seem to sell nor is it even remotely relatable to the people of Karnataka especially when their own ministers pronounce Shaadi Bhagya as Sheela Bhagya.
Essentially the people realize that the Congress has never bothered to uphold the cause of Kannada language or the Kannada culture so far and any overdoing of this political plank at the fag end of their incumbent tenure is only going to bare their political agenda of linguistic divides and separatist mindsets that more than evident when the Congress shocked the Kannadigas by proposing a separate flag for the state when the majority of Kannadigas are already proud of their flamboyant yellow and red flag symbolic of the Arishina and Kumkuma _ the cultural symbols of prosperity of Karnataka.
It is not just the linguistic divide but also the casteist, communal, social and religious divides that the Congress has been fueling methodically through their many policies and programs to the extent of brazenly aligning with terror sponsoring and sympathizing outfits like the PFI that has already antagonized the masses. The latest attempts at separating Lingayats from Hinduism and playing the Kannada messiah card may cheer the bosses of the Congress IT cell and their propagandists but the inbuilt divide and rule policy of the Congress is only becoming clearer by the day for all to see.
In its enthusiasm to vilify its opponents and score short term political points Siddaramaiah who has been off late not even sparing the Rama in his name for political pitching seems to forget that the real issues that matter to the people are still very basics like pot-hole free roads that do not give away to the first stroke of rains, a good functional drainage system that does not overflow and clog during rains, environmental safety by cleansing the smoking lakes and relieving cities from its monumental garbage mismanagement, a good connectivity of public transport (buses) to reduce the menace of slow moving traffic and air pollution, providing drinking water, uninterrupted power supply, containing corruption and facilitating accountability of ministerial, municipal, administrative and legal heads by not giving clean chits to themselves. More importantly this is a regime that has the reputation of inducing fear among its citizens to speak the truth where people no more can even tweet something against the government or their policies or their scams and shortcomings as one has to bear the brunt of an FIR or be silenced by political threatening or consequences. The Ahinda emperor may refuse to shed his fascism that is carefully wrapped in his socialist secularism but the fangs of his feudal regime has already gotten deep into the flesh of the people who shall not hesitate to call out this time around.
Lastly, Congress’s support and nurturing of regional fascism too ugly turns when some pro kannada groups turned into moral policing. Arguably most of the pro kannada group has the tactical support of the ruling Congress party.
A pro-Kannada group’s leader threatened to commit suicide on 31 December if Sunny Leone performed in Bengaluru for a new year bash, and instead of coming down heavily on him for holding a citizen’s personal freedom to ransom, the Congress government banned the actress from participating in that show in the state.
“If she wears saree and takes part in the event, even we’ll go watch her. Sunny doesn’t have a good past. We shouldn’t be encouraging such people. We will not hesitate to commit suicide on December 31,” he said
When the state is reeling under massive law and order problem, corruption and misgovernance , Congress has surely found a way to polarise people . Apart from dividing people on caste lines , now the language divide coupled with regional chauvinism is becoming the hallmark of the Congress government under Siddaramaiah.