Scholars bat for Classical Language status for Kannada

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) Kannada scholars accompanying the all-party delegation led by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today made a passionate plea before President Pratibha Patil on the need for the Union Government to accord Classical Language status to Kannada.

Five known scholars including former Vice Chancellors D Javare Gowda, Chandrashekhara Kambhar and Prof M Chidananda Murthy explained to President how Kannada, which fulfilled all the criteria fixed for giving Classical Language status, was not considered fit for this honour. Noted Kannada poets G S Shivarudrappa and S S Marulaiah were also part of the delegation.

While Mr Gowda felt that Mrs Patil as a motherly figure occupying the nation's highest Constitutional post has also the responsibility to ensure that there was no discrimination against any language when a language fitted all criteria for declaring the language as Classical Language.

Dr Murthy explained to President the antiquity of Kannada language, literature and culture and the uniqueness of Vachana and Sharana tradition and gave evidences to prove how the language dated earlier than the Tamil, a declared Classical Language.

The President keenly heard the views of scholars and expressed her willingness to convey their feelings to the Government, delegation sources said.

Former Karnataka Minister Vyjnath Patil took the opportunity to explain to the President the need to amend the Article 371-D of the Constitution to provide for regional reservation to backward Hyderabad-Karnataka areas for education and employment. Such amendments were made in the case of Telangana and Vidarbha regions in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively, he explained.

The Congress and Janata Dal Secular which did not take part in the delegation however expressed their support for the demands of Classical Language status for Kannada and amending the Constitution.

When the delegation met Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the delegation made out a strong case for reducing the issue price of petrol and diesel for Karnataka as neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were charged lower issue prices. The FM was also told how the oil companies were charging higher Issue Price, affecting the consumers despite the state reducing the tax portion.

Although Mr Chidambaram did not want to give any on the spot assurance, he seemed to be convinced of the genuineness of the state's argument, delegation sources said.

The delegation left for Bangalore this evening.

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