Bengaluru: Karnataka state government’s move making study in the local language Kannada compulsory for graduation level students has reached the doors of the Central government. In its recent directive on Monday, the Karnataka High Court asked the central government to make its stand clear on the issue.
The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi gave the direction on the PIL filed by Samskruta Bharati Trust.
S.S. Naganand, senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that the government’s decision of making learning of Kannada language compulsory is against the Supreme Court order and the spirit of the constitution.
The decision has been creating problems for students who come to study in Karnataka from other states. The students have written letters to principals in this regard, he said.
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The language should not be imposed on others forcefully. It is not fair to make students from other states to learn the local language. It is not tenable to make the Kannada language compulsory in higher education. The counsel Naganand requested the court to issue a stay on the order of the government.
Prabhuling Navadagi, the Advocate General appearing for the government, stated that the decision is in accordance with the policy of the government. No student has filed a petition opposing the move. If at all they were to be affected, they would have come forward to submit the application.
The decision is being questioned by third parties. The petition has been submitted with vested interests. They are trying to save jobs of teachers of languages other than Kannada. This is not a PIL, it is submitted in personal interest and it should be quashed, the Advocate General argued.
He also submitted that the decision is not against the National Education Policy (NEP). The students have been asked to choose Kannada as one of the languages. A separate syllabus has been created for non-Kannada students which is easier for them. The court can’t interfere with the policy decisions of the state government.
Advocate General has also told the bench that Supreme Court has refused to interfere in the matter of learning of Marathi language in Maharashtra.
The bench questioned that, though it is right to encourage the learning of the Kannada language, is it correct for the government to make it mandatory? The matter has been adjourned to Nov 29.
(With inputs from IANS)