...the status of Kannada language is such that we have to give awards to Kannada students to encourage them to study Kannada.The question that immediately comes to mind is, of course - has it ever been any different with any other language? Don't the Israelis give Israeli children awards to encourage them to study Hebrew? Don't the Japanese give their children awards to encourage them to study Japanese? Don't the Germans give their children awards to encourage them to study German? Everybody does the same thing.
But the awards are somewhat different. Well...let's see...hmm.....in those countries, the awards aren't trivial sums of money from the goverment, but the award of a better quality of life! Parents the world over send their children to study in their own languages because there's an award waiting for their children - an award in the form of a good career in a competitive environment.
We need the Kannadiga mind to go through two paradigm shifts before we can give children in Bengaluru the awards which are given out in Tel Aviv.
Firstly, we need to recognize that Kannada won't survive in the absence of the award of a better quality of life for using it. The 15,000 rupees are welcome, thanks, but that just won't count as a real award. We need something which can promise say Rs. 1,50,000 to every Kannadiga of employable age every month. We need to revamp our Kannada-medium systems to get there. We're not even close to it right now. Some think English education and employment systems will get us there, but that's stupidity. Naïveté.
Secondly, we need to recognize that a better quality of life can never become a reality if Kannada is sidelined in education and employment. In recognizing this second point, many have fallen short of themselves since they explicitly assume that English is the passport to a better life for all Kannadigas, not Kannada. Wrong. Terribly wrong here in Karnataka.
While most people understand the first point, many of them do so only in a fatalistic sense since they don't see the second point. Kannadigas have started seeing the merit in the second point only now because of exposure to different cultures around the world which are using their languages in linguistic registers which we've traditionally thought were reserved for English alone.
Are you one of them? Get in touch with us. We're on a roller-coaster ride, and we need company.
Also read on KARNATIQUE: (1) Why the Koreans and Israelis are Twenty Times More Productive, (2) What the Medium-of-Instruction Ruckus Betrays, (3) Karnataka's "linguistic inferiority complex" must go