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Now Kannada Fever Reaches Doorstep of Apple CEO Tim Cook

(File photo: Reuters)

(File photo: Reuters)

The Kannada Development Authority said in a letter to Tim Cook that the font used by the company is cumbersome and it should shift to a font and keyboard layout that has been standardised by the state government.

Bengaluru: After targeting the Bengaluru Metro, nationalised banks and government bodies, the proponents of Kannada language have now set their eyes on global targets.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Kannada Development Authority, a government agency formed to promote the use of the language, has asked the US tech giant to adopt a more user friendly font of Kannada for its range of devices.

While the circulars issued by KDA to banks and other firms sound more like an ultimatum, the letter to Apple is more of a request. Apple had added the option of a Kannada keyboard on its devices in June this year after a concerted social media campaign by interested groups managed to convince the Cupertino firm.

The letter though will not reach Cook straightaway. While the letter has been addressed to him, it has been sent to the Chief Operating Officer of Apple India, who sits in the company’s office at Vittal Mallya road in the city.

The Authority, in its letter, said that the font used by the company is cumbersome and it should shift to a font and keyboard layout that has been standardised by the state government. It says that the switch would be appropriate as most Kannadigas are already used to the font set by the government.

The KDA, while expressing gratitude to Apple for choosing Karnataka as its base for an assembly unit, also pointed out that 75 per cent of Kannadigas are tech-savvy.

“We are receiving many concerns from kannada computing community regarding the usability of the language in Apple. Inc systems. We have many kannidiga software engineers who have chipped in to analyse the problem thoroughly,” reads the letter signed by SG Siddaramaiah, chairman of the KDA.

“So a more user-friendly font and keyboard layout would help in taking forward the idea of Digital India, for all people especially in villages to adapt electronic ways to access services such as banking,” the letter added.

The authority has recently ramped up its efforts to establish Kannada supremacy. Last week, it had issued a circular to PSUs asking them to either teach Kannada to their employees in six months or terminate them from service. The KDA has also said it would soon instruct FM radio stations to play only Kannada songs through the day.

first published:August 14, 2017, 20:48 IST