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Right to response in English, an official language of GoK

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Governance

What is clearly noticeable, of recent, particularly after the RTI usage has become quite extensive, is the mis-use of Kannada by government officials to deny information, through plain obfuscation (This is apart from other subtle, and not-so subtle, ways of denying information being adopted - click here for more on that) .

We ourselves are the victims of this, with the office of the RoS sending us around in circles, while attempting to register as a society, since even a 'Kuvempu' will not be able to manage the language technicalities they are invoking.

Now, the Karnataka Official Language Act, 1963 (the latest amendment being on 9.3.82), clearly states that "English is to be continued to be used for official purposes until the government otherwise directs". And, the government has not directed otherwise until now, as per my understanding.

As such, I would like to suggest to all those seeking information under the RTI Act, who would be happier with a response in English, to add the following line (perhaps in bold) in the body of their letter, and record their experience on this blog.

"I request the response in English, an official language of the state, as per Karnataka Official Language Act, 1963 ( the latest amendment being on 9.3.82). If the response is provided in a language other than in English, I shall be deem it a denial of information".

PS: I would like to stress that this is not part of any campaign against the use, or promotion of Kannada. I fully support all pursuits towards promotion of the language, and the local culture through it. And, not just Kannada, but even Tulu, Konkani, Coorgi (and even Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, and Hindi), these being the other mother tongues of sizable sections of Bangaloreans/ Kannadiga's. For more on that, please browse through this blog.

Muralidhar Rao

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murali772's picture

PIL route avoided

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I filed a query under RTI with the Transport Dept, seeking information as detailed here. More importantly, as far as this blog is concerned, I added a note reading as below:
 
I request a response in English (an official language of the state, as per Karnataka Official Language Act, 1963 - the latest amendment being on 9.3.82). If the response be in Kannada, I request that a translation in English, duly authenticated by an authorised official from the department, be provided along-with. Failing this, I will be constrained to lodge a mal-administration complaint with the LokAyukta.

Well, it worked. I got this response - yes, in English. Well, that avoids my having to pursue the matter through a PIL, as Justice Hegde had suggested (check this).

Muralidhar Rao

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