Ahead of Karnataka State Day on November 1, the Siddaramaiah government is leaving no stone unturned to promote Kannada. So much so that the government is now eyeing Indira Canteens - one of its pet projects - to 'serve' Kannada.
Indira Canteen is the brain-child of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to make the State hunger-free. Despite opposition parties calling it a political stunt, the government went ahead.
Already, 100 canteens are functioning from various wards in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits. Another 98 canteens are on their way, soon.
According to the BBMP, Indira Canteens witnesses a footfall of 2.97 lakh customers, every day. This apparently proved advantageous for the government to promote Kannada. So, along with the food served in the canteens, the customers will also be treated with the dollops of Kannada.
Kannada is one of the oldest languages and has been accorded the Classical tag to it. Besides, the language has eight Jnanpith awardees - the highest award given in the literature. "On a daily basis, at least 10 lakh people visit Bengaluru from various places. They are not aware of the rich legacy of this language. This is an attempt to celebrate Kannada the whole of this month," reports Kannada Prabha quoting BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad.
As per the 2005 government report, only 32 per cent population speaks Kannada in Bengaluru. Rest many of them know Kannada only to use for business purposes. "Kannada is the language of the land. There are many who do not speak Kannada in Bengaluru. This is an attempt to educate them about the language and its history," said Prasad.