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Hindi Signboards Removed From Bengaluru Metro Stations

This comes a week after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddarmaiah wrote to the Centre that his government would go ahead with a two-language policy at Metro stations and facilities, bowing to the demand of many language activists.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:August 4, 2017, 6:09 PM IST
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Hindi Signboards Removed From Bengaluru Metro Stations
Siddarmaiah had informed the Centre last week that he felt “compelled” to re-design all boards in response to campaigns of #StopHindiImposition.
Bengaluru: The removal of Hindi signage in Bengaluru’s Namma Metro seems to have begun, as signboards from at least three stations were removed on Friday.

This comes a week after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddarmaiah wrote to the Centre that his government would go ahead with a two-language policy at Metro stations and facilities, bowing to the demand of many language activists.

Siddarmaiah had informed the Centre last week that he felt “compelled” to re-design all boards in response to campaigns of #StopHindiImposition.

The re-designing seems to have begun in a phased manner, with boards being removed at the Chickpet, Jayanagar, KR Market and the Majestic station, intersection point of the north-south and east-west corridors.

Many language campaigners had objected to the use of Hindi, saying the Centre was trying to impose it without any logic or respect for the local sentiments.

They had argued that if any third language was to be used, it should be Tamil or Telugu, both of which are more widely spoken in Bengaluru; there was no need to give special importance to Hindi, which is spoken more in the North. Non-locals can easily manage with English as a second language, they had said.

The CM decided to heed to this demand and replace three-language boards with two-language boards, and wrote to the Centre about this decision. The Union Urban Development Ministry had, in December 2016, mandated a three-language policy in Metro rails in all non-Hindi states.

Siddaramaiah’s strong defiance of the Centre’s diktat not only reaffirms his regionalist image, but is being seen as one that will win him brownie points in an election year. Siddaramaiah camp feels it will help them in being seen as pro-Kannada in an election year, something the BJP will have to counter timely.
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