A few days ago, pro-Kannada activists completely covered up the Hindi signage at the Chickpete and Majestic metro stations, as well as some restaurants, in Bengaluru. On Thursday, they decided to deface English banners in restaurants and shops (video above) at a mall in the city.

Members of the pro-Kannada organisation, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), led by Praveen Shetty, demanded that Kannada be used most prominently on sign boards in Karnataka. Shetty told The Times of India, “In a few cases the board had only Telugu, English and Hindi content; there is no Kannada at all. We brought this to the notice of corporation authorities and the police. As no action was taken, we have defaced the board with black ink.”

He said that this was just a symbolic protest, and that the organisation would intensify their protests against establishments which don’t show respect towards Kannada. “They want water, food and land of the state, but don’t want the language,” said Shetty, emphasising that they were against the imposition of languages like Hindi. “We are okay with English as a secondary language on the name boards, but Kannada should be prominent in size,” he added.

KRV also demanded the removal of Hindi signboards from the Bengaluru metro stations and trains, comparing them with trains in Maharashtra and Kerala. Union minister Ananth Kumar agreed, saying that the priority should be given to Kannada in Karnataka.

Bengaluru locals, however, have mixed reactions to this move.