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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    July 19, 2006
     

    More Kannada chauvinism

    Apparently the recently released Tamil movie Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi (Search for it: Google & Yahoo!) greatly affects the sentiments of Kannadigas.

    That's why a bunch of Kannada activists chauvinists, wielding swords (or at any rate, they looked like swords), have protested the screening of the movie. They were unhappy with the title, which translates (approximately) to "Royal pain in the a@se, Pulikesi the 23rd". Their contention is that the title demeans Pulikesi, who ruled over what constitutes modern day Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Hence they want the screening of the movie in Karnataka to be banned.

    Haven't these jokers heard of satire, for that is exactly what the movie is meant to be? So far, the government hasn't stepped in. But I'd not be surprised if the movie ban was supported by the government. After all, Kannada pride plays a huge role in politics here, especially since son-of-the-soil Deve Gowda's son is the Chief Minister. Given the history of militant linguistic & religious organizations acting as super-censors and governments too willing to accede to their demands, I'm fairly sure this movie won't be seen in movie theatres in Karnataka.

    Language chauvinism in Karnataka is nothing new. In fact, I've blogged about it a few times. In 2004, film producers & distributors sought a two month moratorium on the screening of new Tamil movies after their release. The government stepped in and made it a three week delayed screening process, which was ridiculous anyway.

    Last year, on a visit to Hyderabad, I compared signs on buses, shops etc. there with those in Bangalore.

    Last week, I noticed several boards along Old Madras Road which had been blackened out with some writing in Kannada. The only thing common to all those boards was that they had been written completely in English, without any Kannada on them.

    Mind you, these so-called Kannada language protectors would in all possibility be sending their daughters & sons to English medium schools, possibly not even in Karnataka.

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