From 'Ji' to 'avare': How Karnataka Congress has adapted to anti-Hindi sentiment
Sensing the pulse of the people against Hindi imposition, the Congress in Karnataka seems to have quickly adapted. Instead of 'ji' as a suffix to names, Congress leaders are shifting to Kannada equivalent, 'avare', in a consciousness move to appeal to Kannadigas.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, first tweeted quoting D V Sadananda Gowda's tweet on lakes in Bengaluru. He chose to use the suffix 'avare' to Sadananda Gowda's name instead of 'ji' which was in general practice.
Then came the turn of AICC spokesperson and Karnataka Congress acting president Dinesh Gundu Rao. While invoking Rahul Gandhi in a tweet, Dinesh Gundu Rao too chose to use the suffix 'avare'.
The move seems to be well thought of given the anger around Hindi imposition in Karnataka. The key currently is effective implementation. The Congress has ensured that the BJP in the state remains on the backfoot around the Hindi imposition debate. While keeping the BJP at bay was its first victory, the Congress in the state is looking to champion the cause of Kannada.
By replacing a popular Hindi suffix with Kannada, the Congress is steadily building a pro-Kannada image in the state and using the same to fuel public anger against the BJP. The attempt is a perception building exercise, a game that the BJP has mastered.
The conscious effort comes keeping the upcoming elections in mind. For the Congress that already enjoys a favourable perception among the state voters, a subtle Kannada tilt is sure to bring in more admirers.