Members of various pro-regional language organisations came together in Bengaluru on Saturday. The conference organised by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike saw members of Raj Thackeray's MNS and M K Stalin's DMK take part.
Language activists from non-Hindi speaking states met under one roof to condemn Hindi imposition in various forms. Following protests by pro-Kannada activists as well as social media campaigns by netizens in Bengaluru, the Namma Metro authorities had to remove Hindi signage at metro stations.
Soon after the #NammaMetroHindiBeda campaign, pro-Kannada organisations like the KRV approached DMK in Tamil Nadu and MNS in Maharashtra to strengthen fight against Hindi imposition. DMK became the first choice since its working President M K Stalin was the first politician to raise his voice against Hindi being used on highway milestones in Tamil Nadu and threatened to begin a language agitation.
Considering the work Maharashtra Navnirman Sena under the leadership of Raj Thackeray has done for locals and local languages, the KRV approached them as well. Soon enough, a similar anti-Hindi signage protest started brewing in Maharashtra as well. On Saturday, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande took part in the conference on his party's behalf. DMK's MP Tiruchi Siva and spokesperson Saravanan were present at the meeting.
The group intends to call more such meetings to emerge as a strong force against Hindi imposition in multiple forms. Organisations that fight for regional language from Assam, Odisha, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have also been invited. Recently, the absence of Kannada language in bank challans in most banks had sparked a row in Karnataka.
Saturday's event also saw writers like Baraguru Ramachandrappa and Champa take part apart from seers and language activists.