Reminding the people of Karnataka that the state was unified because of efforts of several visionaries, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Thursday asked them to reject outright the “voices” demanding its division.
In his address at a function to celebrate the 63rd “Karnataka Rajyotsava”, the state formation day, he urged people not to pay heed to any “false propaganda”, while promising to ensure all-round development of Karnataka.
“I have a request to the people of Karnataka on this occasion. We are hearing voices from different parts, demanding splitting of this beautiful state, we have to reject those voices outright,” Kumaraswamy said.
He urged people of all 30 districts in the state, not to pay heed to any “false propaganda and to join hands to build Karnataka as children of a single mother.”
“Without differentiating as Uttara Karnataka, Hyderabad-Karnataka, coastal Karnataka, central Karnataka, old Karnataka, let’s all work as one family to build this state,” he added.
The demand for a separate state had gained momentum in July this year with several outfits under the banner ‘Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti’ (North Karnataka Separate Statehood Protest Committee) calling for a day-long bandh in 13 districts of north Karnataka on August 2, alleging discrimination by successive governments towards it.
They had also alleged discrimination in allocation towards the region in the budget presented by Kumaraswamy on July 5, and also inadequate representation in the cabinet.
Kumaraswamy had subsequently met the representatives of the committee, and in an attempt to pacify them had promised several steps.
Underlining Karnataka’s rich tradition of unity in diversity, the chief minister said, “We should continue to ensure that people of all religions, communities and traditions live in harmony here.”
Children’s future and supremacy of Kannada were equally important, Kumaraswamy said as he defended his government’s decision to teach English from class one in government-run Kannada medium schools.
“Our children, especially those in rural areas have to come out of their inferiority complex and lead life as everyone else, that is our intention. So we are working towards implementing the decision of teaching English in government schools from the first standard,” he said.
Pointing out that there was opposition to teaching English from first standard in Kannada medium schools, he said “We will not allow English education to take a ride on Kannada’s sovereignty.
“Our intention is to teach English, purely for communication purpose.”
Promising that there would be no compromise in providing quality education, the chief minister said from Thursday the free hot milk distribution scheme would be extended to 10,567 special children studying in 153 special children schools, run by NGOs in the state.
In the state, more than 58,30,000 children are covered under the hot milk scheme.