BREAKING NEWS: Kannada Identified as Classical Language

Okay, we've got breaking news. After years of protests and appeals, notably by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Kannada has now been granted Classical Language status. It's time to celebrate, folks, and also time to cogitate on why it took so long, why it needed so many protests and appeals, what it means, and what we can do with the newly attached status.

Let ideas pour in. Come on!

We also congratulate our Telugu friends for Telugu also having been granted classical language status.

Also on ENGURU: ಕಡೆಗೂ ದಕ್ಕಿದೆ, ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಭಾಷಾ ಸ್ಥಾನಮಾನ!!

The McCain-Murthy Connection

Justin Moyer from the Washington City Paper reports how a Kannadiga family - the Murthy's - hosted a McCain Super Saturday event. Leaving aside the question of whether it's McCain or Obama who ultimately becomes the president of the USA, one questions as to what it takes for Kannadigas right here in Karnataka to 'think politically' like the Murthy's in Virginia. It's high time Kannadigas realize that the best government for them is not going to materialize out of nowhere if they don't actively participate in the political process and continue to call it 'dirty'.

Naran Murthy, a McCain supporter from Sterling, Va., has agreed to let me attend his McCain Super Saturday event. It begins at 10:30 a.m., but Murthy says I can come any time after 9:30. I drive to Sterling, navigating Northern Virginia’s labyrinth of Interstates and toll roads under overcast skies. America stretches out infinitely in every direction, overwhelming in its sheer immensity. When I pull into Murthy’s development, the houses grow closer together. I knock on Murthy’s door at 9:45. He opens the door, and I shake the hand of a short, middle-aged Indian man and catch the heavy fried smell of Indian cooking. I remove my shoes and walk inside.

“We have a small house,” Murthy says with a heavy accent. “But it is good to have something.” Murthy lives in this town home with his mother, his sister, his youngest brother, and his wife, who offers me a cup of bitter tea. I sit in a chair and drink the tea. Murthy, 49, sits on the floor and stuffs campaign materials into bright orange folders. I ask Murthy about his involvement with the campaign—the recent recipient of a bachelor’s in business administration from Strayer University, he likes McCain’s position on taxes—but his mother sits down and dominates our conversation.

“Conservatism does not work in this century,” declares Shantha Murthy as she trims a gardenia in the window. “Hopefully this century will be more liberal than the last.” Murthy is jet-lagged—she has just returned from India to her job as a reference librarian at the Library of Congress. I ask her why, if she feels conservatives have failed, her household is hosting a McCain event. “I am doing it now because my children are all following him,” she says, but thinks those who surround the president wield more power than the president himself. “They call them presidents,” she says. “I call them kings…but it doesn’t matter who comes to the throne.” And suddenly, in this moment, I love Shantha Murthy—how she sets aside her own politics for her son’s, her dry dismissal of American exceptionalism, the way she enjoys her 70-minute commute by bus and Metro to and from the Library of Congress (“I sleep or read,” she says), the charming “That’s My Momma”–ish way she orders her daughter-in-law around in their native Kannada, and the torch she carries for her husband, who recently died of a stroke (“We were married only 53 years,” she says, blinking back tears).

Attacks on Kannadigas in Kasargod

As Kannadigas are victimized in Kasargod, one questions why Kasargod, a predominantly Kannadiga area, is not included in Karnataka:

Students stage protest against principal in Kasargod

Kasargod Oct 24: The anti-Kannada activities have been increasing in Government College Kasargod and both the College principal as well as the district administration are opting to be quiet about the matter. Instead, the victims of the issue are now held in wrong light and notice have been issued against them.

Till last Friday, there have been three instances where the Kannadiga students have been subjected to atrocities and have been put down heavily.

The instance of miscreant students belonging to other community tearing off the Kannada hand bill put up near Principal's office room, thereby hurting the emotions of Kannadiga students has occurred again and the Kannadiga students staged a protest against this misdeed on Friday.

Usually the Principal of the College declares holiday when such instances occur but since the Principal did not take the matter seriously, the students themselves went up and rang the bell, declaring holiday.

Sure the political movements during the reorganization of states left us at a loss, but don't we have what it takes even today?

For the full news story to: Students stage protest against principal in Kasargod

Go get yourself a pair of sexy Bellary jeans

Well well well, you start digging in Bellary and you get sexy jeans? Reports Tehelka today:
A quiet Karnataka backwater has become the epicentre for a denim jeans manufacturing revolution, reports SANJANA from Bellary

POINT BLANK. Walker. Nasty. Podium. These are not just random words in an English dictionary. They are the names of successful brands of denim jeans, manufactured in Bellary, north Karnataka. To the tune of an estimated annual turnover of Rs 150 crore. It’s a big sum for a district labeled “one of the most backward districts of the state” on its own official web page.

Consider this: the 2001 census pegged the total population of Bellary at slightly over 3 lakh. A third of Bellary’s population, over 1 lakh people, is employed in the jeans manufacturing industry. According to the Human Development report (2005) for Karnataka, Bellary stood in the ninth position on the Income Index for the state’s districts — and the jeans industry is second only to the mining sector in being the major contributor to this development.

Jeans from Bellary are not just popular in Karnataka: feeding the low to mid range price segment, they are as sought after in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra. Priced 30-50 percent lower than premium international brands such as Lee, Levis or Wrangler, jeans from Bellary cost between Rs 145-Rs 750 a pair.

Why stop at South India? Why not export to worldwide locations? Why not show 'em what we've got? Why not give the Lees, Levis's, Wranglers a run for their money? Is the economic downturn a golden opportunity to place the Bellary stamp on the west's hips?

For the Tehelka story go to: The Jeans That Built Bellary

Wanted: Kannadigas Aspiring to Become Astronauts

Here's a possible opportunity for Kannadigas to make it to the moon, even if Chandrayaan-1's rocket didn't carry Kannada graffiti. Reports Bhargavi Kerur in today's DNA:

Bangaloreans are set to be over the moon as the city will play the training ground for two Indians who will be making a lunar trip in 2015.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set up an astronaut training centre in Bangalore by 2012, to prepare personnel for the manned moon mission which will land two cosmonauts on the earth's natural satellite.

A site of 40 acres beyond the greenfield Bengaluru International
Airport has been identified.

Disclosing this to mediapersons, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said: "We zeroed in on Bangalore after identifying several favourable aspects. We have an aviation medicine institute in the city which will significantly contribute for the astronaut training."

Will at least one of those astronauts be a Kannadiga who can call back home from the moon and say "Amma, talplde!"? Or has the match been fixed already?

Further reading: Astronaut training centre in Bangalore by 2012

Zee who's making money using Kannada

Zee News CEO Barun Das in an interview to Indiantelevision.com:
In our new businesses, both Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada are gaining traction in their respective markets and delivering growing revenues and GRPs. While Zee Telugu has broken even, Zee Kannada is strongly on the path to break even as per our previous guidance.
While Kannadigas languish in the lack of entrepreneural spirit, every Tom, Das and Harry is making money selling Kannada entertainment to Kannadigas!

A Temple for Veerappan, the 'Saviour of TN'

In Tamil Nadu, all you need on your resume to secure a temple for yourself seems to be to kidnap a Kannadiga actor, kill policemen and elephants, steal sandalwood and have a good 'working relationship' with the 'right people'. Well, if Annaavra kidnapper Veerappan is going to sit in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple in Tamil Nadu's Gopinatham village, what else would you think? Reports the DNA yesterday:

A Trust would soon be formed in the name of Veerappan and a memorial built for him. There's also a likelihood of a temple coming up to deify the moustachioed sandalwood thief who was gunned down on October 18, 2004.

This announcement came at the fourth death anniversary of Veerappan held at Moolakadu near Kolattur in Tamil Nadu on October 18. The moving spirit of the memorial is the late brigand's wife Muttulakshmi.

According to sources at the Karnataka forest department, Muttulakshmi, who has been waiting to cash in on Veerappan's 'Robinhood' image for political mileage, announced her plans saying the Trust and Memorial would fight for the poor in urban and rural-tribal areas.

What is ironical is that the police department is still facing hurdles from Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to unveil the memorial built in the honour of the officers of the Special Task Force (STF). These members had lived in forest for long time and laid down their lives fighting Veerappan. The police are grinding their teeth in angst as Veerappan gets memorial and the policemen killed by him still remain unsung.

But villagers in Gopinatham, the birth place of Veerappan have no bureaucrataic hurdles to cross to declare him the saviour of Tamil Nadu.

So much for kidnapping Annaavru. So much for social justice. So much for a feeling of brotherhood between Kannadigas and Tamils. So much for the guts of legislators in the Vidhana Soudha.

Further reading on DNA: Yours' eternally - Veerappan!

Raghu Dixit and Bollywood? No Way!

Raghu Dixit on whether he'll move to Bollywood:
“There are some great music directors in Kannada industry now like Hari Krishna, Mano Murthy etc who are contributing to the industry. The filmmakers are also ready to invest more now; instead of the earlier meager film budgets, producers are willing to invest some millions in the making of the movie.”

Quizzed if he would be joining the Bollywood bandwagon after making his mark in the Kannada industry, Dixit retorts, “I am a Kannadiga and would like to stay in the Kannada industry for the time being. There is a lack of good talent in this industry and new talents are welcome, so I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and compose Kannada songs.
Further reading: Raghu Dixit turns composer for Kannada movies

Did Kuvempu Lose the Nobel Prize Due to Such Screw-Ups?

The Star of Mysore dropped the following bomb yesterday:

HOW KUVEMPU LOST NOBEL PRIZE

Mysore, Oct. 19 (KCU)- Noted litterateur Dr. S. Prabhu Shankar yesterday dropped a bomb shell when he alleged that a North Indian spoiled the chances of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu getting Nobel Prize.

Dr. Prabhu Shankar was speaking at the valedictory programme of the national seminar on 'Sri Ramayana Darshanam,' the magnum opus of Kuvempu, at Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies (KIKS).

The Nobel Prize Committee was quite impressed by the popularity of Kannada literature. It even had suggested to constitute a Committee of Kannada Litterateurs headed by Prof. V.K. Gokak to nominate a person for the coveted prize who had excelled in the fields of poetry, novels, dramas, epics, essays and critical analysis.

A consensus opinion had emerged that literature stalwarts existed in individual fields and none covering all the fields. Committee Chairman Prof. Gokak after pondering had suggested the name of Kuvempu.

All the works of Kuvempu were supposed to be translated into English and taken to Delhi. A terrible catastrophe occured at that stage, explained Prof. Prabhu Shankar.

Carrying the translated versions of Kuvempu, Dr. Prabhu Shankar boarded a train to Delhi. But the Central Nobel Committee had not even reserved a seat for him.

Not just that, a North Indian even threw the precious works of Kuvempu to a corner like garbage. With no place to sit, Prof. Prabhu Shankar managed to reach Delhi with great difficulty.

The Committee there paid no heed to the excellence of Kuvempu and eventually deprived the great litterateur of the Nobel Prize, recalled Dr. Prabhu. "That was a true sad story which had not been disclosed so far. I still feel very bad reminiscing that incident. The callous behaviour of a person snatched the coveted Prize from Kuvempu" he regretted.

What are your first reactions on hearing this?

Hindi Imposition Goes to the Moon

The PSLV-C11, part of Chandrayaan-1 is all ready for take-off tomorrow. Two South Indians, including a Kannadiga and a Tamil-Kannadiga are at the helm of affairs, reports the Star of Mysore:
Even though hundreds of scientists and technicians are involved in the Chandrayaan-1 project, there are three very important persons who are playing prominent roles in the success of the project.

They are ISTTRAC Director S.K. Shivakumar, Chandrayaan-1 Project Director Myliswamy Annadorai and PSLV-C 11 launch vehicle Director George Koshe.

Interestingly, all the three are from South India. That too, Shivakumar is Kannadiga and Myliswamy Annadorai is a Tamil-Kannadiga living in Bangalore for the last 30 years and speaks Kannada fluently. He has been given the responsibility of the Chandrayaan-1 project. Of the three, most of the work of Annadorai and George Koshe ends on Oct. 22. From then on, it will be S.K. Shivakumar, who will be controlling the operations for the next two years. It is Shivakumar who will control and monitor every movement of Chandrayaan-1 from 18 minutes after the launch for the next two years.

Make no mistake: Chandrayaan-1 is a great achievement for India without doubt. We wish the mission all success and hope it does indeed give India economic and strategic value.

However, one can't brush aside the fact that English and Hindi are the only two languages which find their place on the vehicle. These two languages, obviously, do not represent India. If any Indian language must have been chosen, it must have been Kannada, which is the language of Karnataka which is where the PSLV-C11 was built. Why Hindi? Also, why is the name of the mission "Chandrayaan" (Hindi) instead of "Chandrayaana" (Kannada)?

Which languages are used for graffiti on the PSLV-C11 is, of course, a trivial matter from the point of view of the mission itself, especially given the fact that every single task in the project is done in English. However, the graffiti is a glaring example of Hindi imposition. It's India's dark secret all set to pollute the moon.

For the full article from the Star of Mysore, read: THE MAN FROM SRIRANGAPATNA PLAYS MAJOR ROLE IN CHANDRAYAAN-1

Photo Courtesy ISRO. For more photos of the PSLV-C11, go to: Photo Gallery of Chandrayaan-1 and PSLV-C11

Should Bihar be Penalized for Irresponsible Behavior?

News is pouring in about Maharashtra Navanirman Sena doing everything it can to ensure adequate representation for Marathis in an Indian Railway recruitment drive in Mumbai. A la Karnataka, those jobs which rightfully belong to Marathis in Maharashtra are being filled by (guess who?) Biharis. MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar is quoted by the DNA as saying
Had Lalu worked for developing Bihar, candidates from his state would have no need to come to Maharashtra for the exam.
Shirish touches the heart of the problem of migration from Hindi speaking states to non-Hindi speaking states in India: an underdeveloped and corrupt home-state leaves its inhabitants with only three choices: (a) die of hunger, (b) live with the underdevelopment and corruption, or (c) migrate in search of food. What's astonishing about the migrants is that instead of respecting the culture and language of the state which saves them from hunger, they misbehave and impose their language and culture on the local population - a behavior entirely unacceptable anywhere in the world. In advancing the "they are Indians too" argument in support of Hindi speakers when they are clearly culprits of linguistic and cultural crime, the media and the central government give the impression that Hindi speakers "are more Indian" than Marathis, Kannadigas and every other linguistic people in India.

What is the solution to this problem? Should states like Bihar which neither improve their own conditions nor let more prosperous states like Maharashtra and Karnataka live in peace be penalized for their lack of responsibility? Should central aid for such states be cut? Should they be taxed more? Should there be a law against uncontrolled inter-state migration?

Of the Mistakes in Aravind Adiga's Kannada Notebook

Aravind Adiga, the first Kannadiga winner of the coveted Man Booker Prize, was once upset that his Kannada teacher had not corrected the mistakes in his class notes...

The Times of India of Oct 16th carried a story whose excerpt is here:
Bangalore: Aunt Meera Achar in Bangalore, is overjoyed. She called up her brother and Aravind’s father, Dr Madhava Adiga in Australia, a urologist, to congratulate him on Aravind’s achievement. “My brother said he was very proud of Aravind. I told him we were all basking in reflected glory and quoted a saying in Kannada to illustrate that (I said ‘Along with the flowers, the string that tied them reaches God’). My brother responded, “But the hard work is Aravind’s.’’

Meera Achar remembers Aravind as a shy boy. “He was very intelligent, but not at all boastful. He was good at languages. He knew Tamil too, since he studied in Chennai for a few years. When we heard that his name was nominated for the Booker, I thought, ‘He might just win it’, because I remember reading his work on the changing face of Mangalore, and I thought he wrote well, that he had a flair for writing in English.’’

Meera Achar also remembers that Aravind was a perfectionist, even as a child. “Once, he came to me with his Kannada notes. I pointed out that his teacher had not corrected his mistakes. Aravind was quite upset that teachers did not pay too much attention while correcting, that they presumed some children didn’t make mistakes.’’

Will it be Dr. Shivakumara Swamigalu after Sir MV?

The DNA (Daily News and Analysis) reports today:

Karnataka to nominate Siddaganga seer for Bharat Ratna

BANGALORE: The government of Karnataka has decided to recommend to the Centre that the prestigious Bharat Ratna award be conferred on Shree Shivakumara Swamiji of the Siddaganga Mutt, Tumkur.

"The Swamiji's name has been finalised and an official announcement will be made on Thursday, before it is forwarded to the Centre," an official source said.

The Swamiji recently turned 100 and the Karnataka government honoured him with the Basavashree award on the occasion.
So - will we finally have a Bharataratna after Sir Mokshagundam Visveswaraya? Let's open up a discussion on why Karnataka hasn't had a single Bharataratna in the 53 years after Sir MV. Haven't we measured up? Or haven't we lobbied enough? Or did we plain forget that we're eligible?

Kannadiga civilization along Tungabhadra 'as old as planet earth'

So you thought you need to go to Africa or Harappa-Mohenjodaro to find evidence of ancient human civilization? Think again, and have a look at some of the stone-age paintings from the Neolithic era right here in our own Anegundi. Yes, we Kannadigas have been around for a while here on this planet!

Shivakumar G Malagi reports in the Oct 15th edition of the Times of India how Anegundi, the first capital of Vijayanagara Empire (better known in Kannada as the Karnataka samrajya) on the banks of the Tungabhadra, has a history as old as planet earth itself:
Anegundi: Referred to as the cradle of the Vijayanagar empire in history books, Anegundi is perhaps the only place in the world with human settlements from the Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic ages.

Anegundi is located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra and falls in the core zone of Hampi, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The Hampi-Anegundi area is more than what is commonly considered the ruined kingdom of 15th century Vijayanagar empire. Here, tourists find 500-year-old monuments of high degree of engineering skill at every step.

It is said to have one of the oldest plateaus on the planet, estimated to be 3,000 million years old. So, only local story-tellers refer to Anegundi as the maternal home of Bhoodevi (Mother Earth).


Anegundi has been identified as the capital of the mythical kingdom of Kishkinda, mentioned in the epic Ramayana. It is the birthplace of God Hanuman.

Neolithic history is represented in this region by Mourya Mane, a several thousand-year old ‘Stone Age Colony’. Several Neolithic dwellings still bear paintings that are clear and intact even to this day. “This is the rare human settlement where we will find traces of Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic age of human life at one same spot. Anegundi area is much more than the Vijayanagar empire, and as is old as the planet. Till date, this village is a living heritage site in its true sense,” says Cheluvaraj, head of the department of tribal studies, Kannada University, Hampi.

(Article and Photo Courtesy Times of India)

It is not just a feeling of ancientness that encompasses us as we report this, but also a feeling of responsibility - the responsibility to continue the Kannadiga race, protect it, further it and bring back its ancient glory. We are an ancient people today caught in the midst of problems surrounding our land, our language and our people. There is one and only way is out of these problems, and that way is the unity of Kannadiga youth.

Kannada Books to Adjoining Areas - Good Move

The Indian Express on Sept 28th reported a story on GoK's moves to make sure NRK's (Non Resident Kannadigas) learn Kannada:
Kannada Book Authority (KBA) is despatching more than one lakh books to the Kannada medium schools outside the state. The authority will also send books to Kannada organisations in foreign countries free of cost. There are more than 500 Kannada medium schools in border districts outside the State, including in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
There is a move to distribute books outside India also:
Kannada Association in Singapore has come forward to get Kannada books. The books will be sent by December end. He said that interested organisations in foreign countries can contact the Authority. “We will send books free of cost to other countries, provided the organisations take care of the transportation,” he added.
Given the fact that most of the destination areas adjoining Karnataka (such as Kasargod in Kerala and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu) should in the first place have come to Karnataka during the Reorganization of States, this is perhaps the least we can do to make sure Kannadigas therein are not cheated of their right to learn their own mother-tongue.

Read the full story here: Kannada books for schools outside State

Does Karnataka Lack Sexy Actresses?

There used to be a time when the Hindi film industry used to attract the likes of Vyjayanthi Mala from Karnataka. Now, people throng to Kannada movies, and actresses (and a few actors) throng the Kannada industry from all over India. The Times of India yesterday reported a story on how the Kannada industry is attracting heroines from the Hindi film industry:

“The Kannada industry doesn’t cater to a limited audience anymore. Even non-Kannadigas are interested in watching our films, especially in multiplexes,” says Raghuram, who’ll soon be directing Sonal Chauhan in his debut. “Having familiar faces on the film posters provokes their curiosity,” he says. Since Bollywood artistes have a universal appeal, they widen the reach of our films, he says, adding, “The hosa combination of a B-town girl and Sandalwood hero is an added attraction.”

According to Sridhar, who worked with Gauri Karnik in Karanji, a musical film, B-town heroines are extremely professional. “Not that our heroines aren’t, but the ones from Mumbai have an extra edge. I wanted Gauri because she was apt for my film — she’s trained in music, is talented and also down to earth,” he says. Choreographer Imran Sardariya, who’s made many of these girls dance to his tunes, agrees that B-town babes “know their job and never compromise on quality.”

But the burning questions are: Is it true that non-Kannadigas who watch Kannada movies immediately recognize a Sonal Chauhan? We think it's absolute crap! Don't Kannadiga heroines have what it takes? Can't they act? Aren't they sexy? What have the actresses from Mumbai got that their counterparts from Bengaluru or Dharwad haven't? Do we lack sexy actresses? Don't they know their job? Do they compromise on quality? Can't they get universal appeal?

For the full story, read: Yella Ok. B-town heroine yaake?

Also read on ENGURU: ಹೊರಗಿಂದ ಹುಡುಗೀರ್ನ ಕರ್ಕೊಂಡ್ ಬರ್ತಿರೋದೇ ತಪ್ಪು

Is India a Federal Country? Yes or No?

India is a member of the Forum of Federations, an international body based in Ottawa, Canada, which is dedicated to the study of Federalism. It is "concerned with the contribution federalism makes and can make to the maintenance and construction of democratic societies and governments".

John Kincaid, Professor of Government and Public Service at Lafayette College, Easton, PA, in an introduction to the 2002 Handbook of Federal Countries, defines federalism like this:
[It] can be said to be both a structure and a process of governance that establishes unity on the basis of consent while preserving diversity by constitutionally uniting separate political communities into a limited, but encompassing, polity. Powers are divided and shared between a general government having certain nation-wide, continent-wide, or world-wide responsibilities.
Here's an excerpt from an article on India on the forum's website:
At the time the constitution was written the predominant concern of the founding fathers was the preservation of the unity and integrity of India, which had more than 600 varied princely states plus the provinces of British India at the time of independence. Nowhere in the constitution is the word 'federal' mentioned. Indeed, the constitution says India is a 'Union of States' and it envisaged a strong centre. B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution, has said that the use of the word 'Union' was deliberate. The drafting committee wanted to make it clear that although India was to be a federation, it was not the result of an agreement initiated by the constituent states. During normal times India functions as a federation but it can be and has been transformed into a unitary state during extraordinary circumstances.
Sure, India did not become a federation as the result of an agreement initiated by the constituent states. We know for a fact that Karnataka as defined today was itself torn into pieces at that point of time (and was united albeit with the loss of some areas because of the work of people like Alura Venkata Rao), so the question of Karnataka initiating any argument does not arise at all.

But the question which does arise is: is India a federation of states today? Yes or no? Can somebody clear the confusion?

Namagillada Nano

The Times of India today on how and why we lost the Tata Nano deal, thereby losing about 10,000 jobs which would have been generated, and losing the chance of 60 vendors setting up shop in Dharwad, a development which could have potentially turned Dharwad into the next Bengaluru:
Caught napping over Nano
Industries Minister Nirani Will Still Talk to Tata Authorities

Times News Network

Dharwad:
The decision of the Tata Group to relocate their Nano Car manufacturing unit to Ahmedabad has come as a great disappointment to the people of Karnataka.

The state was hoping that the Tatas would select the land being offered by Karnataka government at Belur near Dharwad. While the people were optimistic that setting up of Nano plant would generate employment opportunities on a large scale, the farmers, who were ready to part with their land, were hoping to get a good compensation.

Industries minister Murugesh Nirani was hopeful because Tatas already own 638 acres of land in Belur where they have set up two units-Telcon and Tata Marcopolo. When informed about Tatas’ decision, a surprised Nirani said that Karnataka too was ready to offer all the facilities sought by Tatas. The government had decided to constitute a committee to hold talks with the company heads.

“Chief Minister
B S Yeddyurappa had reiterated in the cabinet meeting Karnataka’s decision to offer all the facilities to Tatas and had authorized me to talk to them. I do not know what made Tatas decide in favour of Gujarat. The decision to set up the plant has come without speaking to us,” he said. “After visiting two sites at Gamanagatti and Belur in Dharwad on Sunday, the Tata team had promised to get back to us before taking a final decision,” he said, adding that he would speak to Tata MD Ravikant to know what made him reject Karnataka’s offer.

“Protocol should be given the go
-by. One should approach as a friend, which is what I used to do as industries minister. Before Toyota set up their plant in Karnataka, it was wooed by five states. I approached friends of Toyota owners to persuade them to set up the plant here,” he said.

The Hubli chapter of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed its disappointment over the development.

“We had hoped that Tatas would take into account all the factors and decide in favour of Dharwad for setting up their Nano plant. It is a disappointing decision,” said V P Linganagoudar, president, KCCI, Hubli.

(Article and cartoon courtesy Times of India)

Today's edition of the Kannada daily Vijayakarnataka blames the government for having failed on the following counts, forcing Tata to go to Gujarat:
  1. Political instability
  2. Scarcity of electrical power
  3. A unconvincing lobbying process
  4. Slow response from the government
  5. Lack of influence
What do you think? What has Gujarat got which Karnataka ain't got?

Microsoft and Yahoo go Glocal

Yahoo and Microsoft are investing time and money to bring portals in several Indian languages, including Kannada. The Yahoo Kannada Portal and Microsoft's MSN Kannada are not just laudable efforts, but a very worthy move towards glocalisation.




Glocalisation?

Wikipedia defines Glocalisation (or glocalization) is a portmanteau of globalization and localization. By definition, the term "glocal" refers to the individual, group, division, unit, organization, and community which is willing and is able to "think globally and act locally." The Yahoos, the MSNs, while keeping their global focus intact, have aptly realized the importance of acting locally to penetrate into multi-lingual markets like India.

The multi-lingual internet

By focusing on several Indian languages, the Yahoos and the MSNs have taken the first step in tapping the business potential of India's multilingual market. Yes, even the world of Internet in India is absolutely multilingual in nature. The number of movie, music, news, business, matrimony, sports portals in different Indian languages is on the rise and that definitely is an indication of the business potential each language has got.

The role of IT Kannadigas

Countries such as China and Japan have explored all avenues of technology to reach their goals of bringing their rather complicated scripts onto every medium that is involved in businesses - be it print, visual media or the Internet. The point here is that these people have figured out ways in which their language yields well into a form favorable for business, even in the world of Internet. This motivation to effectively use such facets of local language and constantly upgrade it to meet market expectations to be successful in a business is what is required in our businessmen too. IT Kannadigas, who make technology work for the rest of the world, should also focus on shaping their language into a form favorable for business, even in the world of WWW. Be it print, visual or the new age Internet media, Kannadigas should go entrepreneurial full throttle and reap rich returns.

The Leading Challenge for Federalism: Accommodation of Human Diversity

Amaresh Bagchi, in a special article in the Sept 20 edition of the Economic and Political Weekly explains how ironing out the diversity inside India under the pretext that we're all Indians basically weakens India:

The attraction of federalism as a system of governmental organisation, it may be reiterated, lies among other things in its commitment to diversity, rather than homogeneity and to quote Kincaid again, “in its promise not to obliterate one’s home, village, city, province, nation, region or continent in the course of delegating powers to general and functional jurisdiction of larger territorial scope”. In the last analysis it is a matter of one’s identity. No doubt one can have several identities but as Amartya Sen put it in one of his many illuminating lectures:

...subjugating all affiliations to one overarching identity – that of membership of one national polity or people – misses the force and far-reaching relevance of the diverse relations that operate between persons. The political conception of a person as a citizen of a nation, important as it is cannot avoid all other conceptions and the behavioural consequences of other forms of group association [Sen 1998].

A great merit of federalism lies in its promise of respecting plurality of identity of human beings. An ardent federalist like Kincaid was constrained to draw attention to the potential erosion of federal systems in today’s era of regional integration and globalisation. In western Europe, presumably in self-interest, regional and local governments as well national governments have ceded considerable authority to the EU. At the same time global market competition is creating pressures on all governmental systems to deconcentrate or decentralise certain powers in order to give constituent governments more freedom and authority to compete for investments and trade and to enable the enterprises to compete in the large markets. However, he reminds readers: “The accommodation of human diversity, remains the leading challenge for federalism. It is also the leading challenge for the world” [Kincaid 2002: 13].

References

Sen, Amartya (1998): ‘Reason before Identity’, Romans lecture for 1998, OUP, New Delhi.

Kincaid, John (2002): ‘Introduction’ in Ann L Griffiths and Karl Nerenberg (eds), Handbook of Federalism, Forum of Federations, Ottawa.

Note

Whether India is “federal” has been a matter of continuing debate. Many are inclined to treat the constitutional structure of India as quasi-federal, citing its unitary features. However federalism as a basic feature of India’s constitution has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court in the celebrated Bommai case.