Bangalore: With the Supreme Court striking down the State’s move to make mother tongue or Kannada as medium of instruction, the Opposition lost no time in lashing out at the Congress government’s abject mismanagement in buttressing its case before the apex court.
Charging the Congress regime of miserably failing to protect the interests of the State while making a case out over its language policy, former Education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri claimed that though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was apprised of the seriousness of the issue last year, “everyone took it lightly. Now, they have themselves brought the State to this situation.”
According to Kageri, even during the BJP rule, several petitions were made to Union ministers to introduce mother tongue as the medium of instruction.
“From former chief minister Veerappa Moily to Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal, everyone of them was petitioned by me, asking them to introduce a national policy.”
The government, he felt, needs to hire a senior counsel to fight the case, as the Supreme Court responds to senior counsel with more concern. “No matter how senior or experienced our Advocate General is, a senior counsel always has a better experience to argue cases of such national importance,” he averred.
BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar said the party will try to exert pressure on the next government at the Centre to come out with a common national policy on mandatorily teaching mother tongue in Classes 1 to 4 across the country. “We believe a review petition needs to be filed in the Supreme Court. Further, the State BJP leadership will lobby extensively for a national policy, as it will have repercussions across the country,” he said.
However, refusing to buy these arguments, Karnataka Unaided School Management Association Counsel K V Dhananjay said nothing would have helped the State.
Dismissing the legal recourse the State intends to take, he said neither a review petition before the constitution bench nor drawing new legislation to impose the medium of instruction would help the government to go ahead with its plans.
Stating that the case was heard by courts for the last 20 years and finally the Supreme Court went by the High Court verdict that medium of instruction can’t be imposed by a government, he said, even the new legislation plans being explored by the government would meet the same fate.
Asked whether other states would join hands with Karnataka to fight the language policy, Dhananjay said no state has a language policy as persuaded by Karnataka.
“In Karnataka, eight languages other than Kannada are recognised as mother tongue. So, why will all states support Karnataka? Forget other states, even people who speak languages such as Konkani, Tulu and Kodava, will not accept any imposition of a language as medium of instruction in school,” he noted.
Suresh Kumar, BJP spokesperson:
BJP will try to exert pressure on the next government at the Centre to come out with a common national policy on mandatorily teaching mother tongue in Classes 1 to 4 across the country. We believe a review petition needs to be filed in the Supreme Court.