Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has sent out a strict message to those coming to the state, asking them to “adapt to the Kannada culture” instead of attacking it. The state Information Department released a 14-minute clip titled “Karnataka Namma Hemme” (Karnataka Our Pride) on Saturday, which shows Siddaramaiah’s association with Kannada activists since the beginning of his career.
At one point in the video, the chief minister is seen asking Kannada people to be proud of their culture and land. “Neighbours are our brothers and sisters, we must love them,” he says. “But we must send out a stern message that we will not tolerate any attack on our language, land and water. Protecting Kannada land and Kannada people is our responsibility.”
Siddaramaiah further says that he will not allow separatists to divide Karnataka. “A lot of people have fought to unify Karnataka, and now people, are trying to break the state for their selfish gains which I will never allow,” he said.
On Friday, the Karnataka government had asked the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited to temporarily redesign the signs at metro stations and remove Hindi names from them. “...The cultural aspirations and sentiments of the people of Karnataka need to be respected,” Siddaramaiah had said in a letter addressed to Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar.
Kannada activists have been protesting against the use of Hindi on signage at metro stations by blackening them.