After days of outrage over the use of Hindi at Bengaluru's Namma Metro, Hindi words were covered up at key stations. However, protestors, as well as BMRCL officials, claim to have no clue about who defaced the Hindi letters on Metro stations boards.
Following vehement protests by pro-Kannada organisations as well as citizens of Bengaluru, the government of Karnataka including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had opposed Hindi imposition in Metro stations. A day after the Chief Minister reiterated that there was no need for any other language other than Kannada and English, Hindi letters have been covered up from boards. The boards at Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station (Majestic) as well as Chickpet metro station now only display English and Kannada letters with Hindi letter covered up in brown plaster.
"We wanted to smear black paint on Hindi signage at Metro stations but the BMRCL officials seem to have covered it up themselves. We look at it as a victory for our protest. If they do not remove it permanently, we will personally ensure that Hindi is removed from boards," said Praveen Shetty, an activist of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike.
The BMRCL, however, has given no official statement on whether its officials ordered for Hindi letters to be covered up. Bengaluru witnessed protests on the roads as well as on online against Hindi signage at Metro Stations in Bengaluru. Bengalureans accused the centre of imposing Hindi on a non-Hindi speaking part of the country.
While debates raged on about whether Hindi was needed on Metro signage, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah rubbished claims of Metro being a central government project. MEnawhile, the BMRCL that went into a damage control mode on Sunday, organised an event to facilitate Kannada learning for the non-speaking population in partnership with 'Kannada Gothilla Foundation'.