Bengaluru: Karnataka Rakshna Vedike (KRV) is conducting a massive rally to bring forth the plight of local Kannadigas who lose out on job opportunities to outsiders, due to a language barrier.
The group has put out a charter of eight demands. The protesting outfit has demanded that all state government organizations must only recruit Karnataka natives. The outfit also demands that the central government offices functioning in the state must also make sure that candidate are only from Karnataka and has studied Kannada as a subject in school.
"The Sarojini Mahishi Report, which was submitted in 1985, has still not seen any results on the ground," said Arun Javagal member of KRV.
The report also recommended that a majority percentage of jobs in Karnataka must be reserved for locals. Javagal added, "This time we are going beyond the Mahishi report and we demand reservations in centre, state and private jobs."
Another demand that the group has raised is that all question papers of all competitive exams conducted by the state and Centre should be printed in Kannada. The interviews too must be done in the local language.
"Why must sweepers and clerks know English or Hindi? The Kannada Development Authority (KDA) which was formulated for this very purpose has now revised the recommendations of the Mahishi report and have added new demands to keep up with the times," Javagal stated.
Karnataka Rakshna Vedike has also demanded that to qualify as a citizen of Karnataka, one must be a resident of the state for at least 20 years and also have knowledge of the Kannada language.
SG Siddaramaiah, Chairman of Kannada Development Authority, said that "the Sarojini Mahishi report which was discussed in the Assembly in the last Budget session ensures that group C and D employees were to be given only to Kannada speaking people and that we were even trying to enforce this within private companies as well" He also said that these groups are protesting because they want the government to heed to their needs.
With barely five months left for the state Assembly elections, the Karnataka Rakshane Vedike believes it is the right time to organise such a rally.
"Each party speaks of protecting the rights of Kannadigas, now is the right time, as we will also get to know who truly supports our demands," Javagal said.
"Whether an election year or not, it has been our responsibility to ensure jobs for our locals. Through our Yuva Yuga programmes, we have tried to train all skilled and unskilled workers to make them employable," said Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT&BT, Karnataka, speaking on the steps taken by the state government.
The group is said to be mobilising lakhs of locals from different districts of Karnataka for the rally that is supposed to start from the National College in Basvangudi and move towards the Vidhan Souda in Bengaluru. They will then submit a memorandum of their demands to senior leaders in the government, including Priyank Kharge.
It was in July this year that the KDA had directed the Namma Metro authorities to remove Hindi signages apart from stopping announcements in Hindi.