Muslims Throw Ink On Gulbarga Mayor Over Installation Of Urdu Signage At Corporation Office Image: Sridhar Saraf (Wikipedia Commons) 

In what can only be termed as an absurd incident, members of the Muslim Welfare Association threw black ink on the car of the Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) City Corporation Mayor, Sharan Kumar Modi. Apparently, they were demanding the installation of Urdu Board in the corporation office building.

Caught in the midst of a discussion that seems to be going haywire, the state of Karnataka is witnessing a surge against the use of Hindi in the state, attributing it to a conspiracy curated by some Sanghis from Delhi. However, it is not Hindi alone that forms the nucleus of this debate, for even Urdu has some part to play here.

In 2013, merely a few months after the new government came into power, CM Siddaramaiah had asked the Bangalore police to brush up their Urdu skills in order to converse ‘politely’ with the public, given how ‘intolerant’ other languages can be when spoken by men in uniform.

Attributing security to conversational skills, the CM had stressed the importance of Urdu in the social setup. Given the speech happened four years ago, this incident of ink throwing does not come across as a surprise, given the Congress has been using language as a tool of a polarisation in the run up to the State Elections later this year.

Given the state of Karnataka has managed to overcome challenges pertaining to infrastructure, receding groundwater levels, and rural development, one hopes that the ink throwing incident is seen as a polite protest by the Muslim Welfare Association, given it was CM Siddaramaiah who had said that the police could win the support of the people if they learned the Urdu language.

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