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!