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K’taka Govt Seeks Information from Bihar, AP, and West Bengal on Second State Language (Tulu) Adoption

Shivaraja Thangadagi
Photo Credit : By Author

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has initiated inquiries into the steps taken by Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal towards adopting their respective second-state languages. This move comes amidst growing demands for declaring Tulu as Karnataka’s second state language.

Responding to an unstarred question in the Legislative Council, Minister for Kannada and Culture Shivaraj S. Tangadagi revealed that the state government had solicited information from the aforementioned states regarding their adoption processes. The inquiry was made following advice from the State’s Legal Department.

On January 12, 2023, the Karnataka government established a committee chaired by M. Mohan Alva, the chairman of Alva’s Education Foundation in Moodbidri, to examine the possibility of declaring Tulu as the second state language. The committee conducted a comprehensive study encompassing the structure, history, literary tradition, as well as modern and ancient literature of Tulu, along with Tulu inscriptions, script, and culture. Subsequently, the government sought the Legal Department’s opinion on the committee’s report.

The Legal Department emphasized the importance of obtaining reports from legally constituted committees and studying the initiatives taken by other states when considering the declaration of a language as the second state language.

Minister Tangadagi affirmed that the state government had fulfilled these prerequisites by obtaining a report from the committee and now seeks information from the concerned states.

Furthermore, the Karnataka government has already submitted proposals to the Union government for the inclusion of Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

However, the Union government’s stance on the matter remains ambiguous. While acknowledging demands for the inclusion of Tulu in the Eighth Schedule, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, highlighted the absence of fixed criteria for language inclusion. In a separate statement in December 2021, the Union government expressed reservations about including Tulu in the Eighth Schedule, citing practical and administrative constraints.

As debates continue on the linguistic landscape, the Karnataka government’s proactive approach reflects the ongoing dialogue surrounding language representation and recognition within the Indian constitutional framework.

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