Ghajini, Quit (Most of) India!

We urge readers of KARNATIQUE whose mother tongues are other than Hindi to not view the movie Ghajini as a note of protest against Hindi imposition.

Entertainment has become a major leak-hole through which Hindi is getting imposed on India. While laws and departments of the Govt. of India get opposed in non-Hindi states either formally or informally, the increasing amount of sexual content in Hindi movies is accomplishing what the laws and departments set out to do - impose Hindi on the whole of India. Non-Hindi states must answer back by boycotting Hindi entertainment of any sort and give audiences what they want in their own languages. Hindi must quit most of India, which speaks languages other than Hindi.

And again, let's reiterate that Hindi is not the national language of India. It's only an official language of the Indian union, and that too is undemocratic.

If the U.S. Needs a Reboot, What Does Karnataka Need?

Of all things the U.S. stands out as a role model for the world, perhaps the first and foremost is the attitude of its thinkers who constantly challenge the status quo, raise the bar on prosperity and well-being, but never, never take their eyes off the basics such as education, teacher-training, basic research and infrastructure.

Thomas L. Friedman, author of the famous book on globalization - The World is Flat - writes in the NY Times:
Because of the financial crisis, Barack Obama has the bipartisan support to spend $1 trillion in stimulus. But we must make certain that every bailout dollar, which we’re borrowing from our kids’ future, is spent wisely.

It has to go into training teachers, educating scientists and engineers, paying for research and building the most productivity-enhancing infrastructure — without building white elephants. Generally, I’d like to see fewer government dollars shoveled out and more creative tax incentives to stimulate the private sector to catalyze new industries and new markets. If we allow this money to be spent on pork, it will be the end of us.
If the U.S. is lacking in things like education and infrastructure, how should we describe the status of Karnataka today? How should we describe the attitude of our thinkers who don't seem to understand the basic fact that education is the best bet for a bright future for Karnataka? How should we describe the attitude of those who think Karnataka can get away by having a handful English-medium schools and English-medium higher-education? How should we describe the attitude of those who think Karnataka has progressed if Bengaluru gets a few IT / BT companies (which are filled with non-Kannadigas!) even if crores of Kannadigas are left wanting for food, clothing and shelter?

If the U.S. needs a reboot, what does Karnataka need? Karnataka doesn't need a reboot or anything because it's not even turned on yet. Karnataka needs her thinkers to reboot themselves so that they can start afresh and focus on the real issue: universalization (as opposed to concentration in English-educated people and areas) of education and infrastructure. They need a reboot so that they can realize the true importance of Kannada in the development of Kannadigas and Karnataka.

For the full NY times article, read: Time to Reboot America. Thomas L. Friedman photo courtesy NY Times.

Fever FM shoots Kannada ad in Los Angeles

Staying on the "Kannada is cool" topic, Fever 104 FM (which started off in Bengaluru as a predominantly Hindi film music station but soon realized its mistake) is now going all out to promote itself as a 100% Kannada FM channel.

The channel recently shot a TV ad (which it calls the "girls and the lips ad") in Los Angeles which will go online in Jan 2009. The channel's Bengaluru station head, Anjali Paul told Indiantelevision this:
"The TVC strengthens our proposition that Fever 104 FM is 'all about the music'. We wanted to convey the message to the kannada listeners. Also the quality of music in Kollywood has changed and has become better in these years. Thus its cool and in vogue to listen to a kannada station like Fever 104 FM."
That's some transformation!

BTW, what do you think the Kannada Film Industry should be called? Some say "Sandalwood", and some say "Kollywood". What would you choose? Feel free to suggest new names, too.

For the full news story, read: Fever104 FM launches TVC for Kannada market in Bangalore

What had we done to make Kannada non-cool?

The Deccan Herald today reports an event held by an FM channel in Bengaluru with Kannada being used as the cash cow. This is, of course, good news:
The theme of the event was Kannada is cool. The whole venue was given an ethnic Karnataka touch with usherers dressed in ethnic clothing and tender coconuts served as beverages for the guests.

Even the radio jockeys were dressed in ethnic wear. The evening began with a crash course in Kannada for the audience, which the hosts declared was important in order to communicate.
And this is what Kunal Ganjawala - quite a sought-after voice for Kannada film songs - had to say about Kannada:
"I love Kannada and it’s my pleasure to perform in this language, with so many talented artists."
But the question we'd like to ask our readers is - do we need a non-Kannadiga to remind us that Kannada is cool? This is sounding very much like needing foreigners to tell us that Yoga is cool!

What had we ourselves done to paint the picture that Kannada is non-cool? Why do film producers seek non-Kannadiga singers for movies? What's wrong with our own singers? Can't they sing as well as the Kunal Ganjawalas? Can't they market themselves as well? Are they just too naive? Are they just "individual contributors" waiting for some non-Kannadiga manager to use them as resources in a project? Or what's the real deal here? Ideas?

For the full news report, read: Kannada Calling

Coca Cola dumps Bollywood in favour of Mungaru Male Ganesh?

There are rumors that Golden Star Ganesh is going to endorse Coca Cola. According to sources available to us, the shooting for the ads has nearly completed.

If this is true, we could well call this the beginning of the end of Hindi domination in ads for global products in Karnataka. The Amir Khans, the Kareena Kapoors of Bollywood will soon run out of fizz in Karnataka.

One can clearly recognize a pattern in the adoption of Kannada by companies: Global players are the most sensitive to (and sensible enough to recognize) the sentiments, icons and language spoken by the local market. It's the Indian companies which still stick to Hindi since they remain under the illusion that Hindi has its sway all across India. Flawed assumption. Not understanding the local market is one of the reasons why Indian companies pale in comparison to the global reach of the Coca Colas of the world.

We wouldn't be surprised if the stylized Coca Cola logo is done in Kannada in the near future. That's getting really down to the grass-roots level in tapping local market sentiments - something successful global businesses cannot avoid. See pictures of Coca Cola bottles in different languages: Hebrew, Mandarin, Korean, Thai, Ethiopian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese. When do we have the Kannada version?

Note: The picture in this post is not a real ad. It's an artist's impression of the rumor.

What punchline do you think Ganesh should be using in the ad? Come up with creative answers!

Three-language formula for national disintegration

The National Curriculum Framework 2005 has "reaffirmed its commitment" to the implementation of the "three-language formula" across India as per the National Policy on Education. The intent of the policy is "national integration". The Deccan Herald reports:
The formula includes the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking states, and of Hindi along with the regional language and English in non-Hindi speaking states.
The very wording of this statement is wrong. Hindi is being implicitly assumed as "non regional" while languages like Kannada, Tamil and Marathi are being termed as "regional". Welcome to the world's largest democracy where everyone is treated equally, but where speakers of Hindi are treated a little bit more equally. A little bit which is enough to wipe off speakers of Indian languages other than Hindi from the face of this planet.

Hindi imposition is ethnic subjugation of most of India

Even if one were to agree, for argument's sake, that learning an extra language over and above English and the language of the state fosters "national integration", why should one of the languages be compulsorily Hindi, a regional language? Why at all should Hindi be taught all over India? To offer formal channels and methods of migration and ethnic subjugation of non-Hindi speakers across India who form the majority of the Indian population? To perpetuate the baseless argument that Hindi can unite people all over India? To perpetuate the feeling in non-Hindi speakers that Hindi-speakers are Indians of a greater God? India cannot achieve "national integration" using Hindi. Hindi can only achieve "national disintegration". If there's any language which will find acceptance all over India, it is English. It's high time policy makers understand this basic ground reality and stop imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speakers.

The EU would disintegrate overnight if such a move is made

Can you imagine a three-language formula applied within the European Union (EU)? If any such thing ever happens, it will never be the case that one regional language - say Slovak - will be imposed on all of Europe. Any such attempt would be termed undemocratic, and states on which such impositions are made would vehemently oppose it. If the imposition continues, you will soon have the European Union disintegrate. The choice of languages should be left to the students and their parents. A Belgian may learn Flemish, French and English if he wishes. Nobody has the authority to impose the Slovak language on him!

Learners need freedom to choose 3rd language in this formula

Similarly, in India, nobody has the authority to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speakers. Even if we were to allow the three-language formula, Kannadigas must have the option to choose the third language of their choice. Maybe we pick Bengali. Maybe we pick Tulu. Maybe we pick Marathi. Maybe we pick Tamil. But why should we be forced to pick one of the most unendowed and unimportant of Indian languages to Kannadigas - Hindi?

Formula a vehicle for undeserved representation to Tamil?

Also, what is the guarantee that in the proposed scheme Kannada will be learnt by North Indians at all? There's already the feeling among North Indians that south India speaks only Tamil because they created most of the noise when the seeds of Hindi Imposition were sown. There are North Indians who feel that the Vijayanagara Empire was built by a Tamil! What is the guarantee that North Indians who learn Tamil as per the proposal won't come to Karnataka on the "palace on wheels for hindiwallahs" and expect Kannadigas to know either Hindi or their pidgin-Tamil?

People are more aware now, amend the policy

The times are a-changing. The speakers of every Indian language are realizing that they have been subjected to Hindi imposition. They're realizing that they can't take this lying down anymore. Kannadigas are realizing that Kannada is not inferior in any way to Hindi, and that if at all any language were inferior to another, it's Hindi which is inferior to Kannada because of its recent birth, lack of any solid history, and because its literature counts to a naught in comparison to Kannada literature.

Hindi imposition is ethnic crime. The only thing it fosters is "national disintegration". It's high time this three-language formula is amended to remove Hindi imposition. The pros and cons of a two-language formula (language of the state plus English) versus a three-language formula (language of the state plus English plus choice of any other Indian language) should be carefully analyzed. There's no point in jumping to conclusions. That too, the same old Hindi-imperialisitic ones.

For the DH story, read: Govt committed to 3-language formula for national integration

Management Lesson to IIM-B: Speak the Language of Thy Students

The orientation programme for Karnataka legislators at the Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore has exposed many of the ills in the education system of Karnataka.

When the English media makes fun of Mr. Shivalinge Gowda, MLA, who didn't feel like being a mute spectator in Prof. Lakshman Prasad's lecture delivered in English and wanted the lecture to be in Kannada, it isn't just one person who is being made fun of. It's an entire Linguistic People being made fun of. Let's not forget that these legislators are actually representatives of the Kannadiga people. Here's an excerpt from todays's Deccan Herald:
Prof Lakshman Prasad, professor of Organisational Behaviour began his talk in English. After a few minutes, Shivalinge Gowda, MLA from Arasikere raised the objection for a lecture in the language that he could not follow. He questioned why should he be reduced to a mute spectator in the name of the orientation programme. Speaker Jagadish Shettar and Legislative Council Chairman Veeranna Mattikatti pacified him saying that Kannada translation of the talk would be presented.
The very fact that professors at IIM-B started delivering lectures in English to representatives from Karnataka exposes the unpreparedness of our entire education system to address the educational challenges of Karnataka. How foolish it is for an institute of such repute to have such a basic disconnect with its students! It's not enough if a Kannada translation is "also" presented. Why was an English version presented in the first place? To make the "students" feel out of place? To make them feel that they're leading a state which speaks an inferior language? To make them feel that the real thing is English and not Kannada? Even if a Kannada translation was presented, why waste time with the English version?

One only hopes that legislators like Mr. Shivalinge Gowda realize that it's the institute which should be built or rebuilt to serve the population and not vice versa, and take necessary steps to reform Karnataka's ailing Kannada Medium Education System.

Shall we say "the IIM-B did what it knows best....to implicitly assume that the language of education is English"? If this is the understanding which the IIM-B has about education, God save the "International Conference on Educational Leadership" coming up next year!

And shall we say, "the English media did what it knows best...to consider Kannada as a language not worth uttering in AC rooms outside the Vidhana Soudha"?

For the full DH story, read: Legislators did what they know best!

Make Hindi Court Language: Parliamentary Committee

While it is commonsense that the Karnataka High Court should function in the Kannada langauge (and the Supreme Court in all State Languages), a "parliamentary committee" recommendation which seems to be devoid of any such commonsense sought to impose Hindi as the official language of the Supreme Court and all High Courts. The recommendation has been dismissed. Reports The Hindu:
The Law Commission has rejected a parliamentary committee recommendation to make Hindi the official court language for delivering judgments in the Supreme Court and all High Courts and also to amend the Constitution to enable the Union Legislature department to undertake original drafting of laws in Hindi.

In finalising its report, the Commission, headed by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, considered the views of several former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, retired Supreme Court and High Court judges and eminent lawyers.
While that looks like a prudent decision made by the Law Commission, the following statement in the Law Commission's report is not made in good taste:

Furthermore, the unity and integrity of the country is [likely] to be affected by the linguistic chauvinists and the switch over from English to Hindi in the Supreme Court and High Courts will create political and legal unrest throughout the country, which is an avoidable exercise.

It is unacceptable that those who ask for one of the most fundamental of rights - the right to preserve, protect and promote one's own language - are being called as chauvinists by a responsible Law Commission. In reality, it is the "parliamentary committee" which needs to be labeled as a band of chauvinists who are up to imposing their regional language on the whole of India. It is the "parliamentary committee" which seeks to dent the unity and integrity of India. It is the "parliamentary committee" itself which is an "avoidable exercise".

For the full news story, read: Panel says ‘no’ to making Hindi court language

Kannada word "Ooralli" used by Alexander the Great?

The Hindu today reports Mr. Doddarange Gowda, MLC, finding a Kannada word on a wall in Egypt:

Speaking after inaugurating the Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations organised by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) here on Thursday, Mr. Gowda said he had personally seen the Kannada word “Ooralli” (which means in a village) written on a huge wall constructed in Alexandria by ancient Greek ruler Alexander the Great in third century BC.

“The Kannada word ‘Ooralli’ is part of the remnants of 36,000 palm manuscripts that had been burnt in an accidental fire during Alexander’s time.

When the accidental fire destroyed much of the palm manuscripts, Alexander ordered his commanders to erect a huge wall so that the remnants can be magnified and reproduced on it. The palm manuscripts contained texts written not only in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, but also Sanskrit and Kannada. This proves that Kannada was in existence even in second century BC”, Mr. Gowda claimed.

Readers are encouraged to also read about the Charition Mime, an ancient Greek play which features Kannada dialogues.

For the full news story, read: Kannada word found on wall in Egypt

Also read on KARNATIQUE: BREAKING NEWS: Kannada Identified as Classical Language, 'Centre of Excellence for Classical Kannada'

The Mysore Express is not a train. It's a pure Kannadiga fast bowler.

Mallik Gowda writes about Javagal Srinath in the Bangalore Mirror:
And with all the travelling and exposure the former India speedster remains a shrewd Kannadiga, looks it and speaks every inch a Mysore product and enjoys conversing in his tongue like every other person, which he did through a major part of this conversation and when asked about his Kannada he is very quick to respond, “Of course no one can forget their mother tongue and I love to speak it whenever I can,” he says.

For the full story, read: ‘Application, intensity missing’

South Indian TV Markets Defy Hindi Imposition

The DNA on Dec 9th reported a story on how non-Hindi television market in India is faring, calling that market wrongly as the "regional" market:
The regional television market in India is poised for a quantum leap with the entry of conglomerates and a bigger-than-expected spurt in advertising revenue. Experts believe the regional markets are still to be tapped to their fullest potential since their share of the total TV advertising revenues is only 25% compared with their viewership share of 37%.

The major regional markets are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi, in that order.
Hindi, which is also as regional a language as any, doesn't figure in this analysis because it's assumed to be "national". The Hindi Impositionists win again. Damn. Another point to note is that languages which have been derived from Sanskrit (Bengali, Marathi) figure low in the list of major markets even though their populations are considerably higher than the populations of the southern states. Look at this striking imbalance between population and market:

Languages ordered by decreasing order of speaker population:
  1. Bengali
  2. Telugu
  3. Marathi
  4. Tamil
  5. Kannada
  6. Malayalam
Languages ordered by decreasing order of market:
  1. Tamil
  2. Telugu
  3. Kannada
  4. Malayalam
  5. Bengali
  6. Marathi
If you haven't noticed, the Marathis and Bengalis, although their populations are very high, have very small markets for their own languages! Kannadigas, who are 5th in the population-list, figure 3rd in the market-list. The Tamilians who are 4th in the population-list figure 1st in the market-list. The Telugus are 2nd in both lists. While the people of the south have defied Hindi Imposition, the Marathis and Bengalis have been gobbled up by Hindi. Also, it is clear that the languages of South India - which are not derived from Sanskrit - are the new rising stars in the market. The Marathis and Bengalis have some catching up to do.

For the complete news story, read: Regional TV heats up as biggies beam in
Population data source:List of Indian languages by total speakers

California Kannadati in Sankata

The Deccan Herald on Saturday 6 December carried a story on Meghana, a Kannadati actress in Ramesh Aravind's new movie to be released in February 2009. Excerpts:
Her debut venture Venkata in Sankata (VIS) is due to release in February. But Meghana, who is among the three leading ladies in the comedy flick, seems to have already made her presence felt.

“I have bagged a role in Shishira to be directed by Manju Swaraj,” she shares the news in her maiden press interview. Meghana is being paired opposite Yashas in the movie. That’s not all, for the lass tells us that offers have been pouring in from other industries as well. “However, I’m focused on these two projects for now and looking mainly at Sandalwood because Kannada is my mother tongue.”

While VIS will see her in a bubbly and fun role, in Shishira her character is of a more serious nature. In the film, she plays an NRI. So will we get to see traces of the real Meghana on the reel? “Portraying both these roles has been really challenging. But probably what makes things easier for me in Shishira is my accent.” The accent is evident while she speaks English, but there are no traces of it when she converses in Kannada.
For the record, she's a B.A. in Political Science and Economics, speaks unaccented Kannada (that's something for an American born Kannadati), is related to Dr. Vishnuvardhan, and often gets lost on Bengaluru's roads. Get the point?

For the full news article, read: Maiden's journey

What do we call this? Bihari Terrorism?

The Indian Express reports on 5th December of a recent attack on Kannadiga construction workers by Biharis. So much for letting the Biharis into Karnataka.
Bihari workers attack locals in City

BANGALORE: A request for water ended up in a fight among the construction workers of the Manthri Greens apartments in Malleswaram. Reportedly, a local worker had gone to ask for water, when some Bihari workers assaulted him and later his friends and also their sheds. It is said that a similar incident had occurred earlier also where these workers assaulted each other. Police said that when the fight got severe the Karnataka Rakshana vedike members were informed about it, who rushed to the spot for the rescue of the local workers. A few men suffered injuries and six Bihari workers were arrested.
Should these uncouth goons, aka "Indians of a Greater God" (for they speak the Language of a Greater God called Hindi) be allowed to come to Bengaluru? Who should protect Kannadigas from these goons? Should there be a new Karnataka Immigration Law?

Also read: Should Bihar be Penalized for Irresponsible Behavior?, Maharashtra: The Un-asked Questions

Will sons benefit from sale of soil?

Export of raw iron ore has been a very easy way for uneducated, unpatriotic and corrupt politicians of Karnataka to loot the state and fill their coffers. Just sell your soil, that's it. But now the Government of Karnataka seems to have finally realized that the state is being slowly relieved of its iron-ore reserves without any sort of profit for the state. We hear traces of sensibility in Shobha Karandlaje's remarks on this issue:
The state has about 9-10 billion tonnes of iron ore, mainly haematite. In order to conserve and discourage the export of the ore in the raw form, a push is being given to value-added iron ore-based products only.
Well well, well: if selling our soil is one of the very few ways in which the treasury of the state can be filled, there's obviously and unfortunately no other go. And yes, it makes a lot of sense to create jobs in the state in the process of selling our precious soil (value-addition doesn't come about without new jobs). But the big question is: Jobs for whom? Who will benefit from the "value-addition"? What percentage of the new jobs created will be filled by Kannadigas? How many Kannadiga experts will get jobs in this new "push"? How many of the top officers will be Kannadigas? Or will we have more Biharis and UP-wallahs come to Karnataka in search of these jobs? Will we see new overnight trains from Patna and Lucknow to Bellary? That's the question.

It is binding on the Govt. of Karnataka to ensure that Kannadigas get atleast 90% of the jobs which are created due to this new "push". Is the government committed to this? Will the sons of this soil benefit atleast by way of jobs while their precious soil is being sold? Yeddy, are you listening?

Also read: Good move by Orissa. Yeddy, are you listening?, Good move by Maharashtra. Yeddy, are you listening?

Have we failed to resurrect Sir MV?

In that very same Mysore which was once blessed by the Diwan-ship of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, one of the greatest engineers the world has ever produced, distribution of drinking water today requires a "Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company Limited" of the Tata group. The Business Standard reports that JUSCO has bagged a Rs. 152 crore order, beating global competition:

JUSCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, the flagship company of the Tata group. It is the Tata initiative in the emerging water sector in the country having the experience of managing water service in Jamshedpur city for over nine decades.

For the water management contract, the company has entered into the tripartite contract agreement with Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) an agreement to this was signed on Tuesday at Mysore.

The water supply contract is to be executed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The company’s all similar water supply projects till date have been pilot projects targeting part of the city (population of less than one lakh), whereas at Mysore it is a city-wide project, which will serve population of more than a million.

The project will enable equitable distribution of Cauvery water treated at Hongalli and Melapur treatment plants to the consumers through a network of about 1,200 kms from 28 small and large reservoirs, gradually increasing the hours of supply to 24 hours a day with service level guarantees commensurate with national and global benchmarks as stipulated in the contract agreement.

KUWSDB and MCC had called for bids in March this year and JUSCO has won the contract against stiff national and international competition from Larsen Toubro (L&T), Jain Irrigation Projects and the Joint Venture of Ranhill Utilities Berhad, Malaysia and SPML.

The question which obviously comes up is: have all the Kannadiga engineers and entrepreneurs died and gone? Have they all become extinct? What have we learnt from the great water-management Guru - Sir. M.V. - who lived amidst us just a few decades ago? Have we failed so miserably to resurrect the great Kannadiga engineer and statesman?

Unity in diversity: a principle which holds with or without a common enemy

In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, there is quite a bit of discussion on what's wrong inside India because of which we keep on having these attacks. Two different sentiments are holding sway over the media, which in turn holds sway over people. Firstly, there is the sentiment that India's defense apparatus has gone to the dogs because of unprofessionalism and corruption. Secondly, there is the sentiment that India's linguistic diversity is an impediment to India's unity and security. While the first sentiment is based in reality, the second is based in a false notion of India.


The first sentiment is shared by anybody having even the slightest commonsense. India's progress will never exceed the unprofessionalism and corruption in not just defense but in every sphere of public life. Unprofessionalism and corruption are two different types of cancers which are eating away India. There is no option but to get rid of these two cancers. The only question which remains to be answered is - how can we reduce unprofessionalism and corruption in public servants? The answer lies in true leadership. It is foolish to believe that those who are corrupt and unprofessional can be cured of their cancers. Instead, the solution is for those who are professional and non-corrupt to become public servants, that's all. That is the only way out. In other words, rectifying the unprofessional and corrupt is a futile excercise. It is best to replace them.

We now come to to the second sentiment which is rooted in a misunderstanding of the Idea of India. The basic rights of the different linguistic peoples of India to obtain education and employment, as well as their right to protect their own language and culture are being slighted with increased vigour in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. It is being selectively forgotten that the irritation of Marathis is against those non-Marathis who act to the detriment of Maharashtra, its culture and its language, and not against those who help Maharashtra in any way. The anger of the Marathis is against those non-Marathis who have the audacity to snatch away jobs of Marathis and openly disgrace the language and culture of Maharashtra. Those non-Marathis who help Maharashtra and who are not inimical to its language and culture (for e.g. the NSG commandos) are obviously welcomed by the Marathi people. The fact that Indians need to be united against a common enemy - terrorism - does not make India's linguistic diversity a shame. Nor can it be wished away. The need for India's linguistic peoples to protect themselves, their respective languages, their respective cultures and their rights to education and employment remains irrespective of whether or not there is a common enemy. India's education and employment are the education and employment of the Marathis, the Kannadigas and that of every other linguistic people. Not just that of the Hindi speaking people.

It is high time people understand that the linguisitc states of India have willingly transferred defense responsibilities to the central government in order that they can focus on peace-time activities such as education, employment, human development, language development, arts and crafts, and culture. It is unfair and against the very idea of India to argue that the speakers of one particular language and their language itself - Hindi - have a higher priority in all the above peace-time activities all over India. It is against the very idea of India to have a system which makes Kannadigas themselves underdogs in Karnataka, and Hindis the upperdogs. We should not forget that this fact remains whether there was a terror attack on Mumbai or not. We should not forget that the principle of unity in diversity holds irrespective of whether or not the different linguistic peoples of India have a common enemy.

Windsor Manor, Bengaluru: the Next Target of Terrorists?

While the English media (both print and electronic) is singularly focused on covering the counteroffensive operations against terrorists in Mumbai, a Kannada daily - Vijaykarnataka - reports a horrifying story on the Windsor Manor hotel, Bengaluru being the next possible target of terrorists.

We offer an English translation of the Vijaykarnataka article below. We urge readers of KARNATIQUE to spread word, and immediately call the police, local MPs and MLAs and enquire about what measures have been planned to avert a possible attack.

Bengaluru is the next target, be careful

Bengaluru: It is now coming to light that the Deccan Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility of the carnage at Mumbai has made Bengaluru its next target.

The state police have information that the terrorists have devised a plan to attack 5-star hotels and IT companies within 37 days of the Mumbai attacks in the same way as was done in Mumbai.

Three terrorists arrested

Three individuals, Haji, Khader and another person allegedly belonging to the Deccan Mujahideen have been arrested on the Kerala border near Virajapet.

The costal guards have captured a motor-boat used by the terrorists near Bekalakote, Kasaragod. The terrorists might have entered the state using this boat. A link between these terrorists and the Mumbai blasts is suspected.

The Deccan Mujahideen might have spread itself in Karnataka. According to highly placed sources, the state police are carrying out investigations in this regard from two days, and many have been interrogated in Belagavi (Belgaum), Hubballi (Hubli) and Udupi.

The terrorist organizations have a link with a software company in Bengaluru, and the attacks have been planned with the help of engineers in the company.

Main target: 'Bridge hotel'

According to information available to this newspaper, the Windsor Manor hotel has been identified as the main target. The terrorists are using the word 'Bridge Hotel' as a codeword for the hotel, likely because one has to cross a bridge to enter the Windsor Manor.

Central intelligence has issued alerts

The central intelligence department has issued an alert that the Deccan Mujahideen is planning attacks all over Karnataka, including Bengaluru.

Home minister V. S. Acharya has said that security has been tightened in important places, sensitive areas and 5-star hotels.
Read on ENGURU: ಉಗ್ರರ ಮುಂದಿನ ಗುರಿ: ವಿಂಡ್ಸರ್ ಮ್ಯಾನರ್, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು?

State-level NSG is the Need of the Hour: Deshmukh

It was Bengaluru in July and now it's Mumbai which is burning. With nearly every Indian state being targeted by dastardly acts of terrorism and the Centre failing in one of its most important duties - defense - state governments are now forced to do their part in protecting their respective states. In a move to prevent frequent terror attacks on Maharashtra, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh sees the need for more power to the states in combating terrorism:
MUMBAI: A day after the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday said his government has decided to set up a "state-level NSG-like organisation'' to tackle terrorism.

"Mumbai has always been on the top of the terrorists' hit list. After Wednesday's terror attacks, I feel we should have an NSG-like organisation to deal with terrorists,'' Deshmukh said after a special cabinet meeting to review the law and order situation.

Deshmukh said he would ask the home department to draft a proposal for the same once the situation in the metropolis is back to normal. "We will set up the state-level NSG in a time-bound manner,'' said Deshmukh.

[...]

Another IPS officer said setting up a special agency for Mumbai on the lines of NSG was the need of the hour. "The local police are unable to retaliate, as such we should have NSG like organisation,'' he said.

All this raises very important questions: Has the Centre completely failed in defending India? Should defense - a federal subject the world over - also move to the states? Is terrorism so widespread within Indian states that the army stationed in border areas can't do anything to prevent it?

And yeah, Yeddy, are you listening?

For the full news story, read: CM roots for state-level NSG unit

Also read on KARNATIQUE:
Blasts: why do they keep happening?
Good move by Orissa. Yeddy, are you listening?
Good move by Maharashtra. Yeddy, are you listening?

Read on ENGURU:
ಮುಂಬೈ: ಬಿದ್ದುದನು ನಿಲ್ಲಿಪುದೆ ನರನ ಮೃತ್ಯುಂಜಯತೆ

Good move by Orissa. Yeddy, are you listening?

It's the turn of Orissa now. Orissa Chief minister Naveen Patnaik too has finally realized that the state cannot give up internal employment opportunities to non-Oriya people. This is again a right move by an Indian state. Orissa is the second state, after Maharashtra, to announce this. We'd like to see similar declarations by every Indian state:

Following the footsteps of Maharashtra, the Orissa government on Tuesday decided to reserve jobs for locals in the upcoming industries in the state.

In the semi-skilled and unskilled category, the reservation will be 90 per cent. In the jobs requiring skilled man power, at least 60 per cent vacancies will be filled up by the locals. Maharashtra last week had announced reservation of 80 per cent jobs for locals in the industries operating in that state.

Similarly, a minimum 30 percent of the supervisor and managerial posts will be filled up from locals, though the appointment of senior executives will be on the basis of merit.

The question now is - would the BIMARU states have the guts to make similar moves? Do they have anything to secure for their citizens? Or would they continue to play the "we're Indians of a greater God because we're Hindians, so we've got the right to snatch jobs from lesser Indians all over India" card? No marks for guessing this.

What about you, Mr. Yeddyurappa? Two of your peers have realized why they've been voted to power. Don't you think it's time you do equally well in the class? Or do you want to wait until you have orders from the Advanis and Vajpayees in New Delhi? Do you realize that it's all the more dangerous if states around Karnataka keep enacting laws protecting employment for their citizens while the bulb doesn't glow in your cabinet? Do you realize that nobody is talking about preventing their citizens from migrating to Karnataka? It's only Kannadigas who are being prevented from going to their states. Get the point? No? Repeat this lesson.

Also read: Good move by Maharashtra. Yeddy, are you listening?

And Now, Ladies, Hampi Silk

Talking about refurbishing the ruins of Hampi, the KSIC has gone one step further in bringing the wonderful Hampi architecture to silk. Reports the Times of India yesterday:
The breathtaking beauty of the stones of Hampi, and the magic of the sculptures at Belur and Halebedu -- brought alive on the drapes of a traditional Mysore silk saree. The latest collection unveiled by Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation on Tuesday showcased designs of city-based Deepika Govind in the 'colour threads from Hampi and Belur' line.

Govind derived her inspiration from the architecture at Hampi, Belur and Halebedu. She designed the collection without tampering with the purity of the silk fabric. The ornaments from sculptures at all the three places translated into beautiful borders and exquisite pallu designs. The colours are largely monotone -- yellows, flaming reds -- with embroidery and interesting combinations.
In a rare display of "more Hampi", we hear minister Shobha Karandalaje making the following welcome remark:
Rural development minister Shobha Karandalaje said the challenge ahead was to take the sarees to an international market. Karnataka supplies 70 per cent of the country's silk requirements. She promised 25 per cent subsidy for power looms for the silk industry.
Indeed, our sarees should go global. Why not? But just as going global does not mean printing the Statue of Liberty instead of architecture from the Virupaksha Devasthana or Mahanavami Dibba, going global does not necessitate hiding Kannada from ad campaigns and websites (as if it's an embarassment to display our language), by doing which the KSIC has earned much of the wrath of Kannadigas.

Photo courtesy: mangalorean.com. For the full TOI report visit: Weaving Hampi, Belur magic onto sarees.

Sanskrit Univ: BJP's facade of righteousness?

What do you do if you have Rs. 200 crores in your hands? Well, the govt. of Karnataka has earmarked that sum to refurbish Hampi and build a Sanskrit University. Reports the DNA today:
The BJP Government of Karnataka has ticked two of its top poll promises with the sanctioning of Rs.200 Crore for refurbishing the historic ruins at Hampi and initiating steps for establishing a Sanskrit University.

It was the Tourism Minister G Janardhan Reddy who announced the government decision for Hampi's development while Minister for Higher Education Arvind Limbavali revealed on Thursday the government's intention to set up the state's first Sanskrit University. The proposed Sanskrit University will undertake research on topics related to spiritual, religious and cultural fields besides inculcating moral values among the youth, the Minister said.

While the move to refurbish the historic ruins at Hampi is a welcome one, we humbly ask: why the Sanskrit University? What topics related to "spiritual, religious and cultural fields" still exist in Sanskrit which haven't been researched till now? Really, there is nothing of any consequence which still remains un-researched in Sanskrit, and which can magically turn Karnataka into a Raama Raajya! We therefore argue that that money is better utilized if the government were to recognize the need to "refurbish the ruins" of the Hampi Kannada University which is badly in need of funds. The Hampi Kannada University must be vested with more responsibilities - such as research on science and technology in Kannada (as opposed to just research of Kannada).

The government has obviously forgotten that Purandara Dasaru who lived in Hampi (and in whose name we have the Purandara Mantapa in Hampi even today) taught spiritual truths in Kannada and not Sanskrit. While the great saint realized in as early as the 16th century that any spiritual, religious or cultural work needs to be done in the Kannada language here in Kannada Nadu, the government of Karnataka obviously lacks this basic commonsense.

One even questions whether the governement has any clue as to what the granting of Classical Language status to Kannada means, even after the cheap drama of Mr. Yeddyurappa claiming that it all happened because he threatened to stage one single demonstration in Delhi! Mr. Yeddyurappa, the declaration of Kannada as a Classical Language means, first of all, that Kannada has a literary tradition which has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Sanskrit. Yes, n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do with Sanskrit.

Then why this Sanskrit University? Is it BJP's facade of righteousness and spiritual cleanliness in exploitation of the fact that Karnataka has forgotten the difference between Sanskrit and spirituality? What do we have upcoming next, a Pali University to put up a facade of care for underprivileged converts to Buddhism? That crap is not what Karnataka needs. What Karnataka needs today is real universities which take up education and research in Kannada as seriously as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem does in Hebrew.

Good move by Maharashtra. Yeddy, are you listening?

The Maharashtra government has made a move in the right direction: 80 per cent of jobs will now be reserved for locals in state industries and it's mandatory for the recruiting officer (note very carefully: not the candidates seeking recruitment) to know the Marathi language. Reports CNN-IBN:

"Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had been following up the issue for a long time. The Industries, Energy and Labour department took a decision for setting aside 80 percent jobs to the locals", an official statement said.

Anyone who has been residing for over 15 years in the state would be considered as local, the statement said.

The Government has also decided to set up a committee at state and district level to ensure implementation of the decision, it said.

The panel would meet at least three times a year and would review status of the decision. It would also suggest measures to provide maximum jobs to locals.

A procedure has been fixed to ensure that the officer making the recruitment, should be one knowing Marathi language, the statement said.

Although there are a couple of catches there, this is in the right direction. Maharashtra still does not realize that it's not how many years a migrant has breathed the air of Maharashtra which matters, but whether he/she has become one with the language and land of Maharashtra. In Europe, they employ a very simple technique to make sure you've "become one with the language and land": written and oral tests. Is that too far-fetched in India?

In any case, Mr Yeddyurappa, are you listening? Do you get the point behind what Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh is doing? Do you realize that your government is expected to protect the interest of the people of Karnataka and not Bihar or UP or Tamil Nadu or other states although "they are all states of India"? Do you get the point that you have not been voted to power by the Nagas in Nagaland? Do you get the point that Kannadigas can't care less for the fact that migrants from Bihar and UP "are also Indians" when they're snatching away jobs?

Expectations are rising, Mr Yeddyurappa, and delivering results is what matters. Not tears, not elephants, not prayers, not speeches.

'Language is not just the material phonetic means'

In his seminal french-language work Cours de linguistique generale, Ferdinand de Saussure, the universally acclaimed father of modern linguistics, explains the role of language in relation to thought as follows:
The characteristic role of a language in relation to thought is not to supply the material phonetic means by which ideas may be expressed. It is to act as intermediary between thought and sound, in such a way that the combination of both necessarily produces a mutually complementary delimitation of units.
The above insight into the role of language was seen for the first time in the history of modern linguistics in the lectures of Ferdinand de Saussure at the University of Geneva during the period 1906-1911. However, we believe some Upanishads (like the Bruhadaranyaka) and the Vedas have mantra-s which anticipate the very core of de Saussure's thesis, and given de Saussure's interest in Sanskrit may well have been his inspiration. Closer study of references to naama (name) and roopa (form) in the Upanishads, the various Bhashyas (commentaries) and the hymns of creation in the Vedas, we believe, can throw more light on that "mystic" (to use de Saussure's word) interplay between thought and sound. But we digress.

The point we'd like to make here is - language is not "just a means of communication" as is often misunderstood by many. We've argued elsewhere that it is equally if not more importantly a "means of cooperation" as well. But de Saussure tells us that it's a lot more. It is language which works in tandem with the mass of thoughts in the human mind to "delimit" units. It's not that ideas and objects exist before words for them are coined. Ideas and objects do not obtain the status of separate entities without the help of language. It's language which helps distinguish between say feelings of "happiness" and "excitement". For one who does not know the two words (in any language), the two feelings are also unseperable; in him/her there is no line drawn between happiness and excitement either in the realm of thoughts or in the realm of language. It is language which helps the experiencer of those feelings distinguish between them, give them two different names, and "sort them out" in the mind.

This fact has immense implications. It nearly completely explains the status of different languages in the world today including, of course, Kannada. It explains why some linguistic registers such as science and technology are nearly unpopulated in Kannada. It explains why we are materially unadvanced. It explains why we have a shortage of nouns in Kannada. It explains what is lacking in our society because of which Kannada is not in the state in which say Japanese or Hebrew are today. And of course, it also clarifies what has to be done in order to get over all these shortcomings. All these insights are difficult to capture in one blogpost, so look forward to more articles on this topic as we move on.

We urge readers to purchase a copy of the English translation of Ferdinand de Saussure's book: Course in General Linguistics, Open Court Classics, Chicago and La Salle, Illinois, USA.

A sneak peek of the book is available on Google Books, too.

Picture courtesy: Wikipedia

Americans Turn Torchbearers of Kannada?

So it's the Americans who 'light the torch of Kannada' this time? Reports SOM:
AMERICAN STUDENTS PERFORM BHARATHANATYA

Mysore, Nov. 16 (DV)- American students performed Bhara-thanatya as per Indian style of rhythm. With Indian traditional dresses like saree and kachche, the students both boys and girls performed like Indians and received applause.

The Bharathanatya formed part of the progremme "Study away, teach away" by the students of Connecticut College of America and was performed at the valedictory function organised by JSS Educational Institutions at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) here on Saturday.

Bharathanatya was performed by a troupe of 12 students for 30 minutes. Initially they performed for 15 minutes to the tune of devotional song on Goddess Chamundeshwari. This was followed by a 10-minute performance to the tune of music followed by stepping for 5 minutes to the tune of Kannada song Hachchevu Kannadada Deepa.

Nruthyagiri Director Krupa Phadke had trained them.

If only Kannadigas understand the message in Hachchevu Kannadada Deepa unlike the Americans who only danced to a good song...

Is Kannada Literature Ageing?

The Indian Express yesterday reported how Kannada steals the limelight in the "Bangalore Book Festival". Excerpts below.
If you believe that in this era of technology and shortcuts, Bangaloreans have lost the love for printed words, you need to check out the sixth Bangalore Book Festival at Palace Grounds. It drew many visitors, including children on Saturday, after doing encouraging business on Friday. The fair is on till November 23...

Kannada literature has found a prominent place in the fair, with 55 stalls of the total 288 stalls being dedicated to books in the language.
While literature (as in novels, drama, poetry, etc) has kept Kannada alive in the written world, and made Kannadigas proud recipients of more than half-a-dozen Jnanapitha awards, the question is - can the language survive only the basis of juttige mallige hoo?

Should we take it for granted that Kannada can be used only for expressing our deep sentiments, study of Kannada itself and studies in "local" humanities? Is there no serious academic output possible in Kannada except by ageing professors in dusty Kannada departments in our universities? Can't Kannadiga youth take Kannada more seriously than that? Can't Kannadiga youth take Kannada as seriously as German youth take German, Israeli youth take Hebrew and Japanese youth take Japanese?

On the positive side, do you think we're seeing the entry of Kannada into hottege hittu business in "self-help" books like translations of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People"?

High Tech to Compensate for Lack of Market Understanding?

Airtel recently introduced its "voice SMS" facility in Karnataka. The motivation? Clarifies Venkatesh V, CEO, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Karnataka:
Airtel Voice SMS lends to the freedom of expression, a whole new dimension as it cuts across language and knowledge barriers. This would go a long way in making it a powerful tool of expression for users, who are not as well versed with the English alphabet. We are confident that this service will make a positive difference to the way our customers engage with near and dear ones on the mobile.
While the service is a welcome move and definitely fills a gap, who said that those "who are well versed with the English alphabet" prefer to use English SMS instead of Kannada SMS in Karnataka? Did anybody do a market survey on this? Or was it taken for granted that anybody who is savvy enough to own a mobile phone will prefer English by default (just like the FM stations took it for granted that anyone listening to music in Bengaluru prefers Hindi music to Kannada music)? If only Airtel had asked itself this question, instead of moving away from text as an interface, it could have pressurized the Nokias, the LGs, the Samsungs of the world to come up with decent (not buggy, not incompatible) Kannada user interfaces ans SMS technology.

There's still a vibrant market for Kannada SMS (the text version) in both urban and rural areas. Only, these companies are not realizing this basic fact because of the guesses of a few gone wrong. We told the FM companies that, and we're telling the phone companies now: do some decent market research. High tech won't replace lack of understanding of the market.

Kannada Web Portals: Unicode or Die

Anybody who has ever explored Google's features must have stumbled upon it's language features. Now, there's Google News in Indian languages, reports the DNA:
...Indians who till now couldn’t find an interface for news in their mother-tongue, are discovering a way to read that news online.

The recent launch of Google News in four regional languages — Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi — has helped make that possible. And the search engine giant is also launching features that will empower non-English speaking internet users to use web beyond reading just news.
Yes, there's no Kannada in there. The blame of course is not Google's. The blame, we believe, falls on Kannada news websites who haven't switched to Unicode yet. Having their own encoding schemes makes it impossible for search engines to make sense out of their websites. Google itself is goddamn serious about making sure they don't loose any hits because of the language barrier. Says Prasad Ram, Kannadiga and Google's India R&D chief:
Only 7% of Indians are proficient in English. So, if Google’s power has to be experienced by the rest, we have to add languages.
Kannada which is now (ahem!) a Classical Language, must not miss out on all the cool tech stuff. Otherwise, it won't be long before the world thinks Kannada died along with Latin and that it's been awarded the Classical Language tag posthumously! It's high time Kannada news portals as well as all other commercial and government websites are Unicoded.

For the full DNA story, read: Google takes on the language barrier

Time to Revisit the Official Languages Act?

IBNLive reported on Saturday that Maharashtra will press for Marathi language tests for recruitment to Central Govt. offices:
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh says he has appealed to the Centre requesting permission for Maharashtrian students to take examination for their recruitment to the Central services in Marathi.

“When IAS exams can be conducted in Marathi, why not other exams? We will write to the Centre and make all efforts for this,” he said.

With all these efforts happening around India to end Hindi domination, will the Central Govt display its flexibility and consider all the scheduled languages as Official Languages of India? Is it time to revisit the Official Languages Act? Will the Central Govt really realize the mistake it has made in promoting Hindi as the unofficial, extra-constitutional 'National Language' of India?

Why Do All Railroads Lead To Chennai?

Last friday, the Times of India covered a story about the Railways planning to operate 100 long-distance special trains, mostly within Tamil Nadu:
CHENNAI: Southern Railway is planning to operate 100 long-distance special trains, mostly to southern states of Tamil Nadu, and 372 short-distance special trains as these routes have seen an increase in passenger traffic.

The special trains will be operated to Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Kollam, Bangalore, Tiruchi and Thoothukudi. This include special services from Coimbatore to Tirupati and Eranakulam to Bangalore, said Southern Railway chief public relations officer Neenu Ittyerah. Of these, as many as 28 trains would be operated between Chennai and Nagercoil.
While the Indian Railways makes every possible attempt to create more and more railway infrastructure within Tamil Nadu, Karnataka is royally sidelined. KARNATIQUE invites readers to ponder over the questions below and express their opinions:

  • Why are most of the new projects sanctioned for the State in the last couple of years are limited in scope ? On the other hand, why do our neighbouring States not only get new projects but also a big share in the budget to complete those projects ? Is it because these neighbouring states have a regional party which supports the govt at the center and we don't have one?
  • Why are some of the railway projects in Karnataka dragging on for decades? Why were demands for better passenger and freight connectivity for Kannadigas not addressed adequately?
  • The Hubballi-Ankola rail line could give a fillip to industrial development and also tourism in Uttara Kannada. Why does this century old demand still look like a distant dream?
  • Why did the Indian Railways take a whopping 11 years to resume passenger service between our capital city Bengaluru and the port city of Mangalore ?
  • 70% of the new trains introduced in the last 2 years in Karnataka are interstate ones. Why are there no new routes introduced within Karnataka with the same enthausiasm? Is it not an attempt to push more and more migration of people from other parts of the country to Karnataka?
  • From Bengaluru, it takes nearly 18 hours to reach northern cities like Bijapur by train, while a bus takes 12 hours! Why hasn't the Railways hardly bothered about the pathetic railway infrastructure within Karnataka?
  • Why has guage-conversion work on Solapur-Gadag and Mangalore-Sakleshpur-Bengaluru routes remained unattended?
  • Why has not Karnataka received adequate allocation in the Railway budget year after year? Why such discrimination against Karnataka year after year?
  • The creation of smaller zones was done only to create better opportunity for the local people. But why has it not served the purpose in Hubballi-centered South Western Railway zone?
Why? Why us? Can we stop this discrimination being meted out to Kannadigas? Can we do anything at all? Yes, we can.

'We Tried to Impose Hindi as National Language'

In an exclusive interview to The Nation, a Sri Lanka daily, Ravni Thakur, Joint Secretary, Foreign Affairs Committee of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ruling coalition, admits how New Delhi tried to impose Hindi as India's National Language:
In the 1950s, when we tried to impose that Hindi would become the national language, Tamil, Kannada and other language speakers protested. For them, language was very much part of their life. Nehru and his wisdom have given India much and India learnt from this to create a linguistic State. At that point, it was seen as the beginning of the end of Indian unity. In retrospect, we know that, this was a very wise decision and it is this, that was precisely allowing communities the right to their micro identities of language and ethnicities that have allowed India’s macro identity to remain intact. So, while within the country we may say we are Kannada or we are Tamils, at every other level we are proud to say we are Indians.
It's a welcome statement no doubt, but are Kannada and Kannadigas' rights fully safeguarded in India? Is there no Hindi Imposition any more in India? Why do we still hear people talking about Hindi being India's National Language? Why do we still have priority for Hindi in offices of the Govt. of India, banks, etc? Why do we still find people thinking that those who don't speak Hindi are not Indian enough?

Photo courtesy The Nation. For the full article on The Nation, read: “Terrorism cannot be negotiated with”

'Centre of Excellence for Classical Kannada'

Here's a welcome move from the Govt. of India post the declaration of Kannada as a Classical Language:

Learning Kannada has just got easier, thanks to the central government's decision to confer "classical" status on the language, meaning that an online course will be developed.

The Union Minstry of Culture is to establish a Centre of Excellence for Classical Kannada (CECK), and will prepare an online course, a senior official in the ministry told the Deccan Herald.

People hoping for places in engineering or medical colleges under the government quota are expected to benefit, especially students from Karnataka who are staying outside the state. Other CECK activities will include promoting quality research and academic activities on different aspects of Kannada, such as translating ancient Kannada works into English, Hindi and other major European and Indian languages.

It will also provide material on Kannada literature and architecture, establish a digital library, promote multidisciplinary research into poetic theory, grammatical tradition and aesthetics and provide a knowledge base.

Article on ITExaminer: Kannada to be taught on the web

Anjadiru, it's the girl from next door

No, she's not a Latino singer. Nope, she's not a Hollywood actress. Meet Suman Ranganathan, a Kannadiga actress all set to sizzle audiences in the upcoming "Anjadiru". Did someone say there's a dearth of sexy Kannadiga actresses? Reports Sify:
The tall and beautiful Suman Ranganath is back with her third item number, after her come back Kannada film 'Bindhaas'

She was last seen in a Puneeth Rajakumar film, later in Chitranna,.. song in Budhivantha with Upendra which created a rage today and now she is shaking her leg and twisting her well built physique to an item number in Anjadiru.

Suman Ranganath is dancing under the choreography of Sampathraj for Thangali Nagaraj's raunchy song.

Kannalle sketch Haaki, Kolbeda Nee Nanna, Naduvalle nice aagi thalbyadave Nee Nanna….. was shot by director Janardhan for item song at a specially erected set at dilapidated Mysore Lamps factory in Malleswaram Bangalore.

Here's part of her resume on Smashits.com:
Suman Ranganathan is an Indian model and actress who has starred in many Hindi and Kannada films. Infact she is a kannadiga and initially her name was "Ranganath" but later she changed her name as Ranganathan.
We don't know if that's numerology or whatever which made her change the name, but the fact remains that she has a bright future in Kannada movies - if only she realizes that, gets entrepreneurial and takes on Kannadiga and non-Kannadiga audiences around the world.

Maharashtra: The Un-asked Questions

A few questions come to mind after watching the happenings in Maharashtra and Bihar for the past couple of weeks. There has been no dearth of analyses about these happenings in the print & electronic media. But somehow, the questions we have listed below are not to be seen in general discourse. KARNATIQUE requests readers to ponder over the questions below and express their opinions. After all, these are questions which matter not just to Maharashtra, but to every state in India:
  1. What is wrong if Marathi speaking people demand their share of employment opportunites in Maharashtra?
  2. Why should the Marathi speaking people not expect migrants who reside in Maharshtra to learn Marathi?
  3. What is wrong if Marathi speaking people insist on having Marathi signboards in Maharashtra?
  4. Why is no Maharshtra politician talking about the need to bring in a law to control inter-state migration?
  5. Why do politicians from Maharashtra speak to media in Hindi and not in Marathi?
  6. Why do the MNS and Shiv Sena politicians who claim to represent the Marathi speaking people use the RTI to get information on the number of Biharis who have been appointed for the past 10-15 years in the railway zone that covers Maharshtra?
  7. What are UP and Bihar governments doing to generate employment for their people?
  8. What has been the track record of the governments of UP and Bihar in maintaining law & order in their states?
  9. Why are citizens of UP and Bihar not demanding their political leaders to improve governance in their respective states, thereby resulting in increased employment opportunities for them?
  10. Why does Lalu not talk about stopping trains to Bihar after crores of rupees worth railway property is damaged by miscreants & hooligans in Bihar?

'fuck you all man..., kannada sucks'

We don't publish comments which have bad language or swearwords, but this one is a rare exception, especially on Kannada Rajyothsava. We thought it apt to elevate this comment from 'Anonymous' on our breaking news item about Kannada getting the classical status to the level of a new post:
fuck you all man..., kannada sucks.... hindi has ancient status from the time of ramayan and mahabharat... do you morons even know anything about hindi language you MFs..... F you all and F your kannada
Why does Kannada suck? What does the commenter know about Kannada, or for that matter Hindi? Why does the commenter use the f-word for Kannada or Kannadigas? Was there any Hindi during the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata?

What does this speak of the way Kannadigas are seen? What does this speak of the false height to which Hindi has been elevated in India? What does this speak of the way Kannada is treated? Why do some people have the mindset which makes them talk about Kannada and Kannadigas so lightly? What do Kannadigas lack because of which we get such compliments on Kannada Rajyothsava day?

Let's see some replies.

BREAKING NEWS: Kannada Identified as Classical Language

Okay, we've got breaking news. After years of protests and appeals, notably by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Kannada has now been granted Classical Language status. It's time to celebrate, folks, and also time to cogitate on why it took so long, why it needed so many protests and appeals, what it means, and what we can do with the newly attached status.

Let ideas pour in. Come on!

We also congratulate our Telugu friends for Telugu also having been granted classical language status.

Also on ENGURU: ಕಡೆಗೂ ದಕ್ಕಿದೆ, ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಭಾಷಾ ಸ್ಥಾನಮಾನ!!

The McCain-Murthy Connection

Justin Moyer from the Washington City Paper reports how a Kannadiga family - the Murthy's - hosted a McCain Super Saturday event. Leaving aside the question of whether it's McCain or Obama who ultimately becomes the president of the USA, one questions as to what it takes for Kannadigas right here in Karnataka to 'think politically' like the Murthy's in Virginia. It's high time Kannadigas realize that the best government for them is not going to materialize out of nowhere if they don't actively participate in the political process and continue to call it 'dirty'.

Naran Murthy, a McCain supporter from Sterling, Va., has agreed to let me attend his McCain Super Saturday event. It begins at 10:30 a.m., but Murthy says I can come any time after 9:30. I drive to Sterling, navigating Northern Virginia’s labyrinth of Interstates and toll roads under overcast skies. America stretches out infinitely in every direction, overwhelming in its sheer immensity. When I pull into Murthy’s development, the houses grow closer together. I knock on Murthy’s door at 9:45. He opens the door, and I shake the hand of a short, middle-aged Indian man and catch the heavy fried smell of Indian cooking. I remove my shoes and walk inside.

“We have a small house,” Murthy says with a heavy accent. “But it is good to have something.” Murthy lives in this town home with his mother, his sister, his youngest brother, and his wife, who offers me a cup of bitter tea. I sit in a chair and drink the tea. Murthy, 49, sits on the floor and stuffs campaign materials into bright orange folders. I ask Murthy about his involvement with the campaign—the recent recipient of a bachelor’s in business administration from Strayer University, he likes McCain’s position on taxes—but his mother sits down and dominates our conversation.

“Conservatism does not work in this century,” declares Shantha Murthy as she trims a gardenia in the window. “Hopefully this century will be more liberal than the last.” Murthy is jet-lagged—she has just returned from India to her job as a reference librarian at the Library of Congress. I ask her why, if she feels conservatives have failed, her household is hosting a McCain event. “I am doing it now because my children are all following him,” she says, but thinks those who surround the president wield more power than the president himself. “They call them presidents,” she says. “I call them kings…but it doesn’t matter who comes to the throne.” And suddenly, in this moment, I love Shantha Murthy—how she sets aside her own politics for her son’s, her dry dismissal of American exceptionalism, the way she enjoys her 70-minute commute by bus and Metro to and from the Library of Congress (“I sleep or read,” she says), the charming “That’s My Momma”–ish way she orders her daughter-in-law around in their native Kannada, and the torch she carries for her husband, who recently died of a stroke (“We were married only 53 years,” she says, blinking back tears).

Attacks on Kannadigas in Kasargod

As Kannadigas are victimized in Kasargod, one questions why Kasargod, a predominantly Kannadiga area, is not included in Karnataka:

Students stage protest against principal in Kasargod

Kasargod Oct 24: The anti-Kannada activities have been increasing in Government College Kasargod and both the College principal as well as the district administration are opting to be quiet about the matter. Instead, the victims of the issue are now held in wrong light and notice have been issued against them.

Till last Friday, there have been three instances where the Kannadiga students have been subjected to atrocities and have been put down heavily.

The instance of miscreant students belonging to other community tearing off the Kannada hand bill put up near Principal's office room, thereby hurting the emotions of Kannadiga students has occurred again and the Kannadiga students staged a protest against this misdeed on Friday.

Usually the Principal of the College declares holiday when such instances occur but since the Principal did not take the matter seriously, the students themselves went up and rang the bell, declaring holiday.

Sure the political movements during the reorganization of states left us at a loss, but don't we have what it takes even today?

For the full news story to: Students stage protest against principal in Kasargod

Go get yourself a pair of sexy Bellary jeans

Well well well, you start digging in Bellary and you get sexy jeans? Reports Tehelka today:
A quiet Karnataka backwater has become the epicentre for a denim jeans manufacturing revolution, reports SANJANA from Bellary

POINT BLANK. Walker. Nasty. Podium. These are not just random words in an English dictionary. They are the names of successful brands of denim jeans, manufactured in Bellary, north Karnataka. To the tune of an estimated annual turnover of Rs 150 crore. It’s a big sum for a district labeled “one of the most backward districts of the state” on its own official web page.

Consider this: the 2001 census pegged the total population of Bellary at slightly over 3 lakh. A third of Bellary’s population, over 1 lakh people, is employed in the jeans manufacturing industry. According to the Human Development report (2005) for Karnataka, Bellary stood in the ninth position on the Income Index for the state’s districts — and the jeans industry is second only to the mining sector in being the major contributor to this development.

Jeans from Bellary are not just popular in Karnataka: feeding the low to mid range price segment, they are as sought after in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra. Priced 30-50 percent lower than premium international brands such as Lee, Levis or Wrangler, jeans from Bellary cost between Rs 145-Rs 750 a pair.

Why stop at South India? Why not export to worldwide locations? Why not show 'em what we've got? Why not give the Lees, Levis's, Wranglers a run for their money? Is the economic downturn a golden opportunity to place the Bellary stamp on the west's hips?

For the Tehelka story go to: The Jeans That Built Bellary

Wanted: Kannadigas Aspiring to Become Astronauts

Here's a possible opportunity for Kannadigas to make it to the moon, even if Chandrayaan-1's rocket didn't carry Kannada graffiti. Reports Bhargavi Kerur in today's DNA:

Bangaloreans are set to be over the moon as the city will play the training ground for two Indians who will be making a lunar trip in 2015.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set up an astronaut training centre in Bangalore by 2012, to prepare personnel for the manned moon mission which will land two cosmonauts on the earth's natural satellite.

A site of 40 acres beyond the greenfield Bengaluru International
Airport has been identified.

Disclosing this to mediapersons, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said: "We zeroed in on Bangalore after identifying several favourable aspects. We have an aviation medicine institute in the city which will significantly contribute for the astronaut training."

Will at least one of those astronauts be a Kannadiga who can call back home from the moon and say "Amma, talplde!"? Or has the match been fixed already?

Further reading: Astronaut training centre in Bangalore by 2012

Zee who's making money using Kannada

Zee News CEO Barun Das in an interview to Indiantelevision.com:
In our new businesses, both Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada are gaining traction in their respective markets and delivering growing revenues and GRPs. While Zee Telugu has broken even, Zee Kannada is strongly on the path to break even as per our previous guidance.
While Kannadigas languish in the lack of entrepreneural spirit, every Tom, Das and Harry is making money selling Kannada entertainment to Kannadigas!

A Temple for Veerappan, the 'Saviour of TN'

In Tamil Nadu, all you need on your resume to secure a temple for yourself seems to be to kidnap a Kannadiga actor, kill policemen and elephants, steal sandalwood and have a good 'working relationship' with the 'right people'. Well, if Annaavra kidnapper Veerappan is going to sit in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple in Tamil Nadu's Gopinatham village, what else would you think? Reports the DNA yesterday:

A Trust would soon be formed in the name of Veerappan and a memorial built for him. There's also a likelihood of a temple coming up to deify the moustachioed sandalwood thief who was gunned down on October 18, 2004.

This announcement came at the fourth death anniversary of Veerappan held at Moolakadu near Kolattur in Tamil Nadu on October 18. The moving spirit of the memorial is the late brigand's wife Muttulakshmi.

According to sources at the Karnataka forest department, Muttulakshmi, who has been waiting to cash in on Veerappan's 'Robinhood' image for political mileage, announced her plans saying the Trust and Memorial would fight for the poor in urban and rural-tribal areas.

What is ironical is that the police department is still facing hurdles from Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to unveil the memorial built in the honour of the officers of the Special Task Force (STF). These members had lived in forest for long time and laid down their lives fighting Veerappan. The police are grinding their teeth in angst as Veerappan gets memorial and the policemen killed by him still remain unsung.

But villagers in Gopinatham, the birth place of Veerappan have no bureaucrataic hurdles to cross to declare him the saviour of Tamil Nadu.

So much for kidnapping Annaavru. So much for social justice. So much for a feeling of brotherhood between Kannadigas and Tamils. So much for the guts of legislators in the Vidhana Soudha.

Further reading on DNA: Yours' eternally - Veerappan!