Bengaluru: Debate over language in Karnataka took a new twist on Tuesday with the Karnataka Development Authority (KDA) making it compulsory for all non-Kannada speaking bank employees to learn the local language in six months or lose jobs.
KDA Chairman SG Siddaramaiah said that if the language is not learnt, then the bank employees of rural, scheduled and nationalised banks in the state should be relieved of their services in accordance with the recruitment rules.
The KDA circular issued on Monday also made it mandatory for all the banks in the state to use Hindi, English and Kannada in all the future advertisements. The circular also demands that special units must be set up at the banks to ensure that Kannada is promoted.
The KDA Chairman while saying that there is a lack of will in implementing the local language in many banks added that the rules need to be implemented on ‘emergency basis.’
The KDA diktat has come after the state government approved a new culture policy on Monday to push the Kannada agenda.
About two weeks ago, the state’s civic body had asked the government to replace all the non-Kannadiga engineers with Kannada speakers in the Bengaluru's Namma Metro.
Protests over alleged imposition of Hindi erupted in the state recently over usage of Hindi in the metro rail’s signboards in the city, prompting even Karanataka chief minister Siddaramaiah to oppose the move.
Since majority of funding for the metro came from the state, it was not a central government project and thus does not qualify for the three-language usage policy, the chief minister said, condemning use of Hindi along with Kannada and English.
Amid the protests, officials of the Kempegowda Metro Station on Sunday put tape on the Hindi signages to avert any untoward incident.