BENGALURU: As Bengaluru in increasingly becoming cosmopolitan with people from across the country living here, an online campaign has picked up pace asking the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to put up signboards in Hindi in its buses. The state-run BMTC has only Kannada and English boards on its buses now.
“I came to Bengaluru recently and I use BMTC buses regularly. I am happy that destination boards are in English, but I have observed that there are some instructions inside buses, like how to access free wi-fi and such, which are in Kannada. People like me, who don’t know Kannada, find it difficult to get the information. Can we not have such information in Kannada, English and Hindi,” asked a commuter, Shankar (name changed).
Kannada activists, however, have been protesting against Hindi signboards in the city. Some months ago, they blackened the Hindi signboards outside Metro stations. Recently, they defaced English and Hindi nameplates of a restaurant at a mall near Bengaluru’s Eco Tech Park.
“Hindi will be helpful because it is spoken by many people and this is the only reason we are asking for Hindi info boards. Those who are new to the state will take some time to learn the local language,” Shankar said.
“This is not acceptable to us. The only thing these migrants have to do is learn Kannada as soon as possible, because they have to respect the local language. Hindi-speaking people form only 2 per cent of the population. BMTC and KSRTC have no Hindi on their signboards, and this should continue. We hope that the government will not pay heed to such demands,” said Mr Akshay R., youth wing vice-president of Jaya Karnataka, Bengaluru.
A BMTC senior officer told Deccan Chronicle, “It is just a demand from some groups of people. We as a corporation don’t have anything to do with this, because the government has to take the decision.”...