Hindi etc. in Karnataka

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at giasbg01.vsnl.net.in
Sat Nov 30 11:09:19 UTC 1996

(In reply to Shrisha Rao, replying to Gail Coelho)

Even if I did announce that I will not discuss this any further... I do
have to point out some factual errors.

sr> Karnataka for instance indigenously has Kannada, Tulu, and Konkani,
sr> all with their own scripts even, and then there's a massive 
sr> presence of Urdu, made all the more permanent by the historical
sr> influence of Tipu Sultan, et al.

Tulu and Konkani have no scripts of their own. Tulu was once written in
Malayalam script and is now written in Kannada script, and Konkani is
written in Kannada script too (except by certain Christians - not all -
who use Latin script; only in Goa, Konkani is written in Nagari).

Tipu Sultan's administrative language was Marathi, believe it or not. At
his court, Persian was cultivated, as we can read in the museum in
Srirangapattana. Tipu himself was from a local converted family, not an
Urdu speaker from the north.

Urdu speakers are a mere 9% of the population of Karnataka, hardly
"massive" in comparison with the national percentage.

sr> Look at Hyderabad, Raichur, Gulbarga, Belgaum, etc.

These are on the periphery of Karnataka, and the first three cities in
your list are in what is known as "Hyderabad Karnataka", which was part
of the territory of the Nizam; they are not at all representative of
Karnataka as a whole. Belgaum is a town with many Marathi speakers, not
Hindi speakers. (By the way, I could have added these towns to my
'English shop sign list'.)

As for resistance to Hindi in Karnataka: I have already dealt with it
elsewhere. And I second Gail Coelho's remarks about schools (like the
one my daughter attends). One difference here is that many students opt
for Sanskrit and drop Hindi as soon as they can (if the school allows),
because in exams only passive, and no active mastery of Sanskrit is

Robert Zydenbos 

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