Kannadiga lads and lasses go urban

So the Urban Lads are going to come out with a second album, and...
plan to go on a tour after the release of the album. The musicians will even be holding auditions for budding dancers, who can join them on their tour. “Our lead dancer, Bhargav will be leading the group during the tour,” says Rakesh.
Way to go! It's high time we tell the world that Kannadiga youth find Kannada really cool!

They must be cool, they must be sexy!

We've written about efforts to revive the Welsh language in the Wales, UK earlier, and how it's the older people who don't speak the language. Now let's turn to another language from the same part of the globe - Irish.

Of course, Kannada is way, way, way better than Irish when it comes to usage - Kannada's problem is not that there are no speakers. Our task is many times simpler than what the Irish have in front of them. We've got not less than 55 million speakers. Kannada's problem is that the speakers are considered children of a lesser God. Nay, the speakers themselves believe that they're children of a lesser God.

Okay, back to Irish and what we can learn from efforts to revive the language. What does it take for languages to stick around? Says Patrick O'Halen from the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language which promotes the Irish language from kindergartens to newspapers to TV channels:
They must be cool. They must be sexy. They must have that attraction. And they must be associated with people who are succesful and succesful young people speaking Irish just as they would speak any other language. But it happens to be Irish, not English. And there are a lot of muddles out there today (in the best sense of the word) who are giving this image to them and who are impacting the mindsets of young people. It's now become much more attractive, much more cool. And that spreads to the older generation as well.
See this video to get more info on the revival of the Irish language happening as we speak. Listen to the skeptics who don't believe Irish has any chance of surviving, as well as the tough men who are making things happen:

The question is: where does Kannada stand as a cool and sexy language which attracts successful young people? Where do we stand on a scale of 1 to 5 (1-uncool, unsexy, unattractive to successful youth; 5-very cool, very sexy, very attractive to successful youth)? Vote now!

Improving the quality of education in Karnataka: what does it mean?

In an interesting move to improve the quality of education in Karnataka, the government plans to...
take a five-year average of the SSLC results and compare it with the district average set by the SSLC Board. If the results don't match, then a two-year period is given. If performance does not improve, then grants to the schools will be cut.
While such measures are required in order to raise the bar on schools, they don't suffice. The first thing to remember is that most schools in Karnataka are in the Kannada medium. Improving the quality of education in Karnataka is improving the quality of education in Kannada medium schools.

To improve the quality of education in Kannada medium schools, the quality of Kannada school textbooks has to be improved. For starters, it's high time we stopped translating those textbooks from English to Kannada (and doing a crappy job at that, too). Secondly, teachers have to be given performance-based salary increases/decreases in order to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. These bare minimum things need to be done in order to positively impact the quality of education in Karnataka.

MCX's Kannada website - not much better, but better

In a welcome move, Kannada finds entry into yet another linguistic register till now reserved in India for English, Hindi and possibly Gujarati. Reports the Hindu Business Line:
MCX-SX (MCX Stock Exchange), India's new stock exchange, on Friday formally launched its 6th regional Web site in Kannada (http://kannada.mcx-sx.com) on the benefits of currency derivatives market.

MCX-SX has already launched regional Web sites in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam and five more websites will be launched by the end of March 2009.

The effort to facilitate new financial instrument in the local language, will give Karnataka another edge over other Indian cities, Mr B Srinivas, Regional Director, RBI-Bangalore said at the launch of the Web site.

Mr U Venkataraman, CEO, MCX-SX said: “The Web site is aimed at overcoming the language barrier and spreading benefits of markets to cities and towns across Karnataka.”

But someone needs to drop 'em a few emails and let 'em know that the world has graduated to Unicode. It's funny how such a reputed organization resorts to images to display Kannada! The problem with images is, of course, that it makes the website un-searchable. And if you can't search through your website on the internet, it's useless, dude!

Also, we'd like to hear from users of the website as to whether the website accepts input data in Kannada Unicode, and if yes, whether that data is recognized by the software running in the backend, and if yes, whether that data is then recognized by MCX.

Looks like three very weak links? Welcome to Kannada computing. Want to help strengthen those links? Step in, we need your help.

Also read on KARNATIQUE: Kannada web portals: Unicode or die

It ain't enough if MPs from other states speak up. You need to.

Well, well, well. When MPs from Karnataka don't even open their mouths in the Lok Sabha, what's the point in sending them there? The Deccan Herald reports:
Lok Sabha members from Karnataka have done it again. As the curtains came down on the life of the 14th Lok Sabha last week, they have demonstrated once again why they are so ineffective in Parliament – they have hardly opened their mouth during the past five years of their term.
It's high time MPs from Karnataka realize that they have a serious job to do - of representing Karnataka in New Delhi and making sure that we're not taken for granted. Apart from general obesity and corruption, our MPs have another important disability due to which they don't open their mouth other than to yawn: Coming from one or the other National party, they're conditioned to thinking that the work of India is going on if MPs from other states are speaking up!

No, it ain't enough, and Mr. MP from Karnataka, you gotta speak up. The work of India has grounded to a halt because you're not doing your part. Do you realize that?