The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd began taking down Hindi signs at metro stations on Friday. The signs were removed at at least three stations, CNN-News18 reported, a week after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written to the central government about his decision.
“It is counterproductive to continue to insist on the use of three languages, including Hindi, [on signs at metro stations]”, Siddaramaiah had said in his letter. “You would also agree that the cultural aspirations and sentiments of the people of Karnataka need to be respected.” He said the Kannada and English signs would remain, since it was “practical to use those languages which the locals can read and follow”.
Kannada activists have been agitating against the use of Hindi on the Bengaluru metro by defacing signage outside several stations. On July 19, they blackened signs at the Yeswanthpur, Nagasandra, Mysore Road and Deepanjali Nagar metro stations. Some activists have been detained, and others have been protesting at the entrance of metro station holdings placards and shouting anti-Hindi slogans.
In 2016, the Urban Development Ministry had instructed there should be Hindi signboards at all metro stations in states where Hindi was not the predominant language.