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Banagalore is supposed to be a cosmopolitan city, but though i have no inhibition against any language, I find it difficult to travel by Bus ,as the Name Boards are only in Kannada. Having a side by side English & Hindi Board will help all and one, Indians as well as Foreigners

Mr Krishnamoorthy, We

Mr Krishnamoorthy,

We Kannadigas do not consider Bengaluru to be like Mumbai. We are quite tolerant and welcoming of people from all over the world to live, work and enrich our state.

The primary identity of Bengaluru is the *Capital* of Karnataka. Nothing more, nothing less.

You could move to Bihar if you so love Hindi.

Mithun's picture


Hi guys, sorry for sounding a chauvinist in my earlier post. I agree that both kannada & English should be present on name boards. ***Admin, could you please delete my earlier post with the subject 'language difficulty'? ***
Mithun's picture

National language!?!

Srivathsa, I am curious to know too, where is it written that Hindi is the national language (In my opinion, Govt of India & Constitution dont say so. Please note that official language & national language are different) ? Do you think so because our education system says so? Or is this thought coming up because of media? Here is what I think :- Hindi is just one of the many official languages of India. All the states in India have not declared Hindi as their official language. India does not have any national language. It never had. Hindi is just a regional language just like any other. AS per 2001 census, only 41% consider Hindi as mother tongue - which means, majority of Indian population does not think Hindi is their mother tongue. Chauvinism happens to maximum extent regarding Hindi. Education system bluffs all. Media bluffs all. I lived in a major city in central India few years back. They had their bus numbers, bus seat numbers and ticket amount in Hindi numerics. I couldnt even make out what amount was written in my bus ticket. Couldnt locate my seat. Nobody points a finger at them. Why dual standards? why is it so that we readily accept others' parochial acts and tell our people to leave the country but hate our own parochial acts?
s_yajaman's picture

an eye for an eye makes the...

You are right.  Article 343 specifies Hindi as the official language of the Union.  States can have their own official language. 

I don't want to get into a war of words.  In these matters "east is east and west is west..."

I don't want to point a finger at them because it is not worth it.  Charity always begins at home.

TS - was just trying to make a point.  I am no one to ask you to leave the country :). 



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

easy does it

easy does it sri. i didnot get offended by your original post, dunno why you thought i would be. now, i am offended. :) :) rofl!!! its ok sri. ok more seriously, i am interested in this issue a lot. there is another doode in the gang that you are privy to, who is being real decorous and keeping mum, but i bet these type of questions keep him awake at night too. lemme just say, he aint the boisterous tarle subba like me but a rather noble kid, who goes about his task like a sage. i think it is absolutely ok that this question be discussed. people need to get this out of their systems and test it out in the open. no need to problematize and personalize it. bus boards are just one part of the deal. and the solution for that everyone agrees is, bilingual boards. its not even a teaser. but the problem that keeps getting symptomized as kannada vs the other is deeper than that. look around for examples to the contrary. i will give some mundane examples... coffee comes from chikamagalur but is sold in european ambience with no creds to chikamagalur and is done so because of a lot of presumptuous notions. when was the last time any builder in bangalore romantized the hoysalas, the kadambas and the chalukyas or even haDappa and mohenjodaDo and named their projects after them and their creations? look around, pretentious greeks and romans rule the roost in the land of the hoysalas. mallya, he who bought the sword of tippu sultan in open auction, himself is peddling make believe empire state. for crying out loud, forget modernizing the gopura and the nagara, which came with solid drain engineering, we cant seem to do better than unquestioning energy intensive abhisheka at the altar of the glass goddesses, even as native soil and stone lay vanquished. we may have not conquered the arches, but nobody ever complained about anything else in our architecture. there are tomes by europeans settled in idyllic indic settings ruing this loss of native knowledge, if you are interested. would a kempe gowda, who built all those lakes and admitted all those alien artisans and artistes ever catch the imagination of the brave new cosmopolitan bangalorean as a progressive, cosmopolitan hero? forget, kempe gowda, even the oDeyars dont stand a chance in this new bangalore despite all their legislations and western classical compositions not to mention their bilingual courts. much before the hoysalas, KA has been home to bilingualism and cosmopolitanism. hep and happening authors have written historical fiction rooted in karnataka with multilingual characters set as early as 10th century, as far as i can recall. if you stand at kempegowda circle and make these whole littany of complaints, people including 'digas would walk past you. but if you throw one stone at that lee store at the junction brigade and MG road for not getting a transcribed board everyone will sit up and consider. is it any surprise all this has been reduced to that? becoz the fine artisan goldsmiths of bangalore have not bothered to challenge the mindless trampling by these neo-cosmopolitans of bangalore, the iron smiths have taken over and there is no stopping where their heavy hammers land.
tsubba's picture

gone to the drains

ok this thread has gone to the drains. but i guess it is worth it. SB start a new thread on roads over drains, if you are interested. :)
silkboard's picture

written language

No language war please, but Mr Krishnamoorthy may be trying to make a valid point. Bilingual boards in buses should help. Kannada and English should be good. Hindi is debatable matter.
A Tamil speaking friend made a similar point about Delhi. Most street names, and most bus sign plates (I think) are only in Hindi. As a result, while visiting Delhi he finds it quiet difficult to move around on his own.
It is perfectly fair to expect long term settlers aka migrants to learn 'spoken' local language, but perhaps not the 'script'. Also, being a capital city, we get a lot of visitors (business person or tourists), bilingual sign boards should help them as well.
I see that BMTC's Volvos carry destination names in English. Is that a subtle attempt at making language and class associations - hope not - I may be read too much there :)
PS: Mr Cadambi, contrary to what many think, Hindi is not really the native language of Bihar (attempted a language list here). Present day Hindi can be said to be native tongue of only the Delhi region, parts of MP, and western UP.
s_yajaman's picture

Why make BMTC signboards an identity matter?

I used BMTC buses (then BTS) for a long time. Signboards used to always be in both English and Kannada. Now I notice that the numbers are in English, but the destination and origin are exclusively in Kannada. What purpose does that serve?

People move in from different parts of India (the constitution gives them that right). It is not right to compare ones private property (home) and a public place like a city as Mithun has done. BTW, the homeowners in his example have not done a great job of keeping their home in order.

Mr. Krishnamoorthy is perfectly within his rights to call Bangalore a cosmopolitan city if that is what he thinks it is (just as Cadambi is of the opinion that Bangalore's primary identity is that of the capital of Karnataka!). It is unrealistic to assume that people can learn a new language in 15 days even if they wanted to. How do they get about?

One does not have to choose between Hindi and Kannada to live in Bangalore. I resent that sort of statement. You can like more than one language and its literature. I speak Kannada at home. I can speak/read/write pretty good Hindi (and it has stood me in very good stead in my travels around India). I think in English. I don't need anyone's permission to live in Bangalore.

Sorry to retort this hard, but I really resent any statement that makes us Kannadigas first and Indians second.

SB/Tarle - maybe we need to put down some principles/guidelines that insist on tolerance for others' opinions and no language chauvinism on this site.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

moggin jade

sri, i am one of those chauvinists. :) but seriously, it is not a good precedent to ban issues. it relates to life in the city. better to let people put a name, even if pseudo one, to an idea and test it in public. as long as things are not profane or people trying to peddle 'energy' pills it should be ok. about the buses themselves, english ought to be there right along kannada. blrsri, you and your titles. :) check what do you think of that header?
madhu_nr's picture

Chauvinism and parochialism will ruin a city/state/country

Well, its no longer the tolerant Bangalore of 30 years ago, even 15 years ago. I recall BTS buses with signboards in English and Kannada then. Even the road signs were so. Majestic area always had a floating population of many thousands at any time of the year, then also. However, today Bangalore is an international city and not the pensioners paradise of yore. We have visitors (I don't mean migrants) from all over the world. As good hosts, and also ones with good economic sense, we should make them feel welcome. The first thing I have noticed when I travelled anywhere is the sign boards. When there are boards in English (plus local lingo) whether in India or abroad, one feels more comfortable immediately. I feel Bangalore has regressed in that sense and we should start thinking in an international manner. Even the so-called chauvinistic Tamils have boards in Tamil & english all over Chennai / TN. Our road signs and bus boards etc., should follow the dual language policy - Kannada and English. Let us make our visitors feel comfortable. We will earn a lot of goodwill from that. Let us broaden our outlook and our minds.




s_yajaman's picture

Why not English on the buses?

This thread has gone all over the place :) - but anyway.

a. To blrsri - what if the general population becomes so chauvinistic that they turn around and say that they will not answer you because you don't know Kannada.  It takes time to learn to read the script.  Or is it assumed that only the local population takes BMTC?  What if they put the numbers in Kannada from next year? 


b. To Tarle - what if everyone decides that the city was only for locals?  How would people like you go to the US and live there? :)  I did not say no chauvinists - but no chauvinism.  To ask a person to go to Bihar if he loves Hindi is not on.  SHould the retort be that if you don't like Hindi, to leave the country.  Last time I checked Hindi was still the national language.


Remember all of us got the fancy jobs that we have because of knowing English. 


I guess all this stems from the feeling that outsiders ruined Bangalore and its culture.  My usual answer to this is

a. Are our councillors from the local population or outsiders?

b. What about the corrupt BBMP, BDA, RTO employees?  Are they locals or outsiders?

c. Our MLAs and MPs?  Local or outsiders?

Who then ruined Bangalore?



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

navshot's picture


I personally support partial controlling of this site. People are fond of their mother tongue. Its ok to express their views. But it should be in a way that doesn't hurt anyone else's feelings. If it does, then we'd have crossed the boundary. I know of a site which was ruined just because the moderator didn't pitch in at the right moments. It quickly turned into a battle ground. Hope that doesn't happen here.
-- navshot
muni_blr's picture

Dual language is always welcome.

I feel Dual language i.e, Kannada and English sign boards would serve us better in the long run if we want to be more Global. Even passionate/ chaunistic countries like Japan are gradually realising this and starting to use English sign boards along with Japanese. They are still not remotely near to Bangalore standards in terms of foreigners feeling at ease with directions and communication.

I find Bangalore more accomadating than most cities in india by making different sections of people (language wise/ economically etc) feel comfortable in making the city their homes. We still have a lot  to do though.


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admin's picture

just to remind all that this was ...

... about road over storm water drains. Anyone has more info on this project. Any one with contacts in BBMP/BDA who can throw more light on this ambitious project :) ? [Mithun - users can edit or remove their own comments, system should let you do that. Folks - we trust ourselves on this site not fight opinionated wars, talk fact based stuff as much as possible, and not make personal attacks!]
admin's picture

language discussion moved to forum

Moved the language comments from storm water drain blog post to a separate forum thread [Admin]'s picture


A suggestion to add to the inclusivity....

Why not have trilingual signboards: Hindi, Kannada and English..

Will serve localites/hindi speaking ppl(quite a large chunk of indias population) and foriegners/indian ppl who cant read either local language/hindi(i know quite a few of them)

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