The Karnataka government on Thursday said it will send a legal notice to tech company Google as it showed Kannada as the ugliest language in India, said state Culture Minister Aravind Limbavali.
A search on the platform showed Kannada as the answer to “ugliest language in India”. The search result was widely known after the website debtconsolidationsquad.com brought it to the notice of social media users, reported Deccan Herald.
Limbavali said this was Google’s “attempt to insult this pride of Kannadigas” and demanded an apology from the company. “Kannada language has a history of its own, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago!” tweeted Limbavali. “It has been the pride of Kannadigas all through these two-and-a-half millennia.”
Following backlash, Google modified the results for the search around 3 pm.
On Thursday evening, the company released a statement on Twitter. “We apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments,” it read. “Search isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, the way content is described on the Internet can yield surprising result to specific queries.”
The company said that the situation was not ideal but the company took “swift corrective action” when informed about the problem. Google said they were also working to improve its algorithms.
“Naturally, these are not reflective of the opinions of Google, and we apologize for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments.”
The search result attracted immense criticism from all quarters. Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan noted that the language has a “rich heritage, a glorious legacy and a unique culture”. “One of the world’s oldest languages Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics much before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century,” he added.
In a series of tweets in Kannada, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy asked why the company was being insensitive towards languages. “Is it impossible for Google to regulate such hatred towards language in advance?” he asked.