National

60 Percent Kannada Row: CM Siddaramaiah To Bring Ordinance To Make The Language Mandatory On Nameplates, Signboards

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah's decision to bring an ordinance came in the wake of pro-Kannada organisations going on a rampage on December 27 where the activists demanded 60 percentage usage of Kannada language on signboards, nameplates, and advertisements.

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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
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Amid the escalating furore over inadequate usage of Kannada language in Nameplates and signboards in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced that the Congress-led government would introduce an ordinance to ensure that 60 percent of space on signboards and name plates is dedicated to Kannada, with the rest left to any other language.

It has been reported that the ordinance will come into effect on February 28, 2024.

Moreover, it has also been revealed that an amendment will be introduced to section 17(6) of the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Act (KLCDA) - 2022 as well, which was promulgated by the previous BJP government on March 10, 2023 ahead of the assembly elections.

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What did CM Siddaramaiah say?

After convening a meeting with the officials of the Kannada and Culture Department and Bengaluru civic agencies, CM Siddaramaiah told reporters, “People have to follow rules and if someone ignores them, then they will face the consequences. This I am making clear to everyone. I appeal to all the organisations and the activists not to take the law into their own hands.”

Regarding the KLCDA-2022, Siddaramaiah underlined that section 17 (6) of the Act says that commercial, industrial or business organisations, institutions, hospitals, laboratories, entertainment centres, hotels etc should allocate half of the space on signboards and name plates to information in Kannada, with the consent of either government or the local representatives. The rest of the portion can be in any other language.

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Citing the fact that during his previous tenure as chief minister, a circular was issued on March 24, 2018 to ensure 60 percent of the space of nameplates and signboards had Kannada language, the chief minister said, "Today we decided that the signboards and name plates should be 60:40 as per the previous circular. We will bring an amendment to section 17(6) of the said Act, which was introduced by the Kannada and Culture Department," he said.

"I have asked the officials to bring an ordinance because the assembly is not in session. The ordinance will come into effect on February 28, 2024. All the shops, business establishments, hotels, malls and hospitals have to follow this ordinance," he added.

Siddaramaiah also issued a warning to the vandals who went on a rampage on Wednesday damaging offices, shops, business establishments and buildings in protest against nameplates and signboards not displaying information in Kannada.

"Government is not against peaceful protests at a designated place. We will not stop anyone from protesting because we believe in democracy and the Constitution, but if anyone goes against the law then the government will not tolerate it,” the chief minister said

However, 15 members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, who were arrested for vandalising English signboards in Bengaluru, were released from police custody on bail on Thursday night.

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