In a recent demonstration in Karnataka, pro-Kannada groups gathered to demand that all businesses and enterprises display nameplates in the local language.
The protest, captured in visuals shared by news agency ANI and reported by NDTV, showed individuals wearing red and yellow scarfs removing English signage from a hotel, despite attempts by some police officers to intervene.
This development follows a earlier directive issued by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic body in the state capital, instructing businesses to have signboards that are at least 60 per cent in Kannada.
BBMP Chief Tushar Giri Nath had warned that commercial stores failing to comply with the order could face legal action.
The language issue gained prominence when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah emphasised the importance of learning Kannada in October.
"While it is impossible to exist in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh without learning the local language, you can survive in Karnataka even if you don't speak Kannada," Siddaramaiah said at an event in October.
"Instead of Kannadigas teaching our language to others, we are learning their language first," he had said.
This move is not the first time that efforts have been made to promote Kannada.
During Siddaramaiah's earlier tenure as chief minister, initiatives were undertaken to encourage the wider use of Kannada, including an ultimatum for bank officials to learn the language within six months.
The linguistic landscape also saw controversies over the use of Hindi names for Bengaluru metro stations, leading to covered signage during that period.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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