WAKE UP: Stand up for your land and language

SUNAAD RAGHURAM writes: The anguish over the unfeeling lack of primacy for Kannada in Karnataka has surfaced from time to time.

But the nirabhimanigalu that most Kannadigas are seen to be (and this tag is not without solid basis), the protests have invariably died a natural death.

My friend Santosh Muniyappa, an ardent Kannadiga and software consultant based in Poland, has sent me a copy of the petition to the Karnataka government that he wants me to sign protesting the anti-Kannada attitude of private FM channels in Bangalore.

http://www.petitiononline.com/protstfm/petition.html

The petition reads thus:

“The FM radio channels currently operating in Bangalore are providing their programmes primarily in Hindi. Radio City [91.0 MHz] provides about 10-15% of non-prime time entertainment programmes in Kannada but the announcements and advertisements are not in Kannada.

“Radio Mirchi [93.3 MHz] provides no entertainment programmes in Kannada but announcements and a few advertisements are in what they consider as Kannada. In summary, these channels do not consider the existence of Kannada-speaking people who constitute over 80% population in the area of their coverage in and around Bangalore.

”The FM radio channels forget that they have been provided licenses for localized programming. They also forget that they operate in the state of Karnataka which is one of the states of Union of India, that India has a federal system and states have been formed on linguistic basis.

”Private FM channels provide wholesome entertainment and information in the language of the state in other states of Union of India (examples: Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh).

”Listed below are a few instances which indicate the discrimination against Kannada and Kannadigas by these FM radio channels:

1. “The channels always air Hindi film songs, ghazals and pop songs but rarely air Kannada film songs, folk songs, light music and classical music.

2. “Weather updates, traffic updates and health tips are primarily in Hindi with a sprinkling of English in between. The common man of Bangalore who needs the same information has been denied this just because of his Kannada origin.

3. “Most of the Radio Jockeys (RJ) of these channels don’t speak Kannada and among the ones who speak, speak Kannada in a very ridiculing manner.

”The intention of these channels is to expand and establish market for Hindi films and Hindi music in Bangalore. Hence there is a deliberate attempt to deny entertainment in Kannada and diminish the market for Kannada film and music industry.

“These channels by airing Hindi programs, giving updates in Hindi have been imposing Hindi on the common man of Bangalore. This goes against the federal structure of Indian Union and denies Kannadigas the right to protect their language & culture in their native state.

”We the undersigned protest the discrimination by Radio City (91 MHz) and Radio Mirchi (93.3 MHz) against Kannadigas. We have been hurt by the attitude and activities of these Radio channels.

“We demand that these channels stop the discrimination against Kannadigas and stop the imposition of Hindi on Kannadigas. We demand that all the FM channels operating in Bangalore provide entertainment & information to people of Bangalore in the language of the land, Kannada.”

The petition, as on Saturday morning, has 1,126 signatures. If there is a stirring inside you for the sake of the honour of Kannada do log on to

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?protstfm&1

and wake up, speak up, stand up for your land and language.