After Kannada Development Authority (KDA) expressed disappointment over Kannada being dropped from the list of languages to impart training to MPs, legislators from Centrally administered territories and officials, the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracy (PRIDE) has issued a statement including the language to the list.
PRIDE under Lok Sabha Secretariat had earlier announced it will start training in six Indian languages – Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Odiya, Tamil and Telugu and six foreign languages – French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian and Portuguese. Kannada was not included in the list despite having classical language status.
However, according to an official release issued on Sunday, PRIDE will organize an Online Indian and Foreign Language Learning programme for Members of Parliament, State/UT Legislators, officials and family members in ‘all Indian Languages of 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution’. Om Birla, Speaker, Lok Sabha will virtually inaugurate the Language Learning programme on Tuesday.
“Online Foreign Languages Courses in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish will commence from 22 June, 2021. Online courses in all Indian Languages of 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution will also be organized as part of the programme. Classes of Guajarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Sanskrit will commence from 5 July, 2021 onwards,” the release stated.
Classes of Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Urdu, Santhali, Nepali, Meitei (Manipuri), Bodo, Dogri, Konkani, Maithili and Punjabi will start from 12 July 2021 onwards, release further said.
Questioning the guidelines followed in the selection of languages to impart training, KDA chairman T.S. Nagabharana had earlier said, “What are the parameters followed in the selection of languages? Kannada has a history of over 2,000 years. It is very disappointing. Karnataka might have to fight by seeking support from MPs elected from the State.”
Attacking the 25 BJP MPs from the state for not raising the issue, JD(S) leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had said, “Ignoring Kannada is the result of electing 25 MPs who are not passionate about Kannada. Kannada has to be included, otherwise all of us have to reject the training.”
“Only we are raising our voice against it. Voice has to be raised by all against the Centre’s role in discrimination against Kannada. The Centre has been ignoring Kannada every time, and a strict message has to be conveyed,” he had stated.
In a series of tweets in Kannada, Kumaraswamy had further said that despite the “anti-Kannada stance” of the Centre, none of the 25 BJP MPs elected from Karnataka had raised their voice. “People have to understand that the BJP is fundamentally anti-Kannada. If it is not true, then the BJP has to set things right,” he had added.