Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday told the Centre that his government has instructed the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to not use Hindi language on signboards at metro stations.
In a letter addressed to Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Siddaramaiah said the decision was taken in the wake of protests against the use of Hindi signage at metro stations. The agitation started with social media campaigns, but later took a “violent turn with activists trying to deface the Metro name boards/signages," he wrote.
The chief minister noted that it was not essential to use Hindi on signboards as “commuters, who use metro, are comfortable with reading and understanding Kannada and (or) English”.
“Although the state government has strictly dealt with those who defaced the signages and maintained law and order around metro stations, you would agree that in the face of a continue agitation...it is counter-productive to insist on use of three languages, including Hindi," he wrote.
Pro-Kannada activists started the protest in June as a social media outrage, but it quickly turned into an offline protest with pro-Kannada organisations holding a demonstration in front of the BMRCL office on June 23.
The argument over having Hindi signage and direction boards in the Metro rail, led to #NammaMetroHindiBeda, followed by a notice sent from Kannada Development Authority to Metro officials.
A few pro-Kannada activists representing Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV recently sprayed black paint on Hindi signages Peenya, Jayanagar and Deepanjali nagar metro stations.
The KRV had threatened to continue its protests till metro officials removed Hindi signages....