Belagavi: Even as Maharashtra continues to stake its claim to Belagavi based on its large population of Marathi speaking people, a school certificate issued in 1955 in the district could come to the rescue of Karnataka in court.
A team of lawyers in Belagavi,which has found the school leaving certificate issued on May 31, 1955, merely a year before the reorganisation of states, believes it could prove to be a vital document to back Karnataka 's contention that Belagavi was historically an integral part of it.
School No. 3 of Khasbag in Belagavi,which issued the certificate to one Chandrappa Kupati after he passed class VII , was started by the British in 1882. All the writing on the certificate , including the signature of the principal, is in Kannada, according to senior advocate, Ravindra Totiger. He explains that Kupati quit the school after class VII and so was issued the certificate.
More records obtained by the lawyers reveal that the British established the first Kannada school in Belagavi in 1838 and named it Number One Kannada School. Mr Totiger contends these latest records clearly prove that Belagavi was a part of Karnataka and its major language was Kannada.
Many historians in Karnataka have already handed over thousands of historical records to the Karnataka Border Advisory Committee to show that that Belagavi was an integral part of Karnatata and Kannada was its official language in the past too.
Mr Totiger says he himself has submitted several historic records including court summons and government letters that were written in Kannada even before 1900. The latest records were recovered from Srishail Kupati, son of Shankrappa Kupati, whose family has lived in Belagavi for several decades.