Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday expressed shock at the order of the state government to select only Hindi-speaking students for tours of other states and called it a "betrayal of Kannada".
The JD(S) leader alleged that the Central as well as the state governments are involved in the "heinous act of ignoring Kannada students during school excursions" and warned of protest if the order is not withdrawn. "BJP governments in the Centre and the State which are conspiring for 'One Bharat, One Language' policy are involved in heinous act of ignoring Kannada students during school excursion. This is inexcusable and condemnable," Kumaraswamy tweeted.
"The government has chosen only Hindi speaking High School and PUC students to send for other State tours under the programme 'One Bharat, Shreshta Bharat' organised as part of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence," the JD(S) leader added in his tweet.
However, State Education Minister BC Nagesh said that neither the state nor the Central government gave any indication that the knowledge of Hindi or English is compulsory for the students travelling from Karnataka.
"As part of the commemoration of the Independence Day of India, the central government and the state government have not given any indication that Hindi / English language knowledge is compulsory for students travelling from Karnataka. Disciplinary action will be taken by the department against the officer/staff responsible for this confusion," Nagesh tweeted.
Kumaraswamy, citing the media reports alleged that the order of the Bengaluru DDPI stated that only "those students who speak Hindi should be selected".
"I am shocked to read media reports on an order issued by the Bengaluru DDPI that only those students who speak Hindi should be selected. This order is a heinous betrayal of Kannada," he tweeted.
The former chief minister held the Education Minister responsible for the "catastrophic order" and asked if such an order can be possible without the government's knowledge.
"The State government and the education Minister are directly responsible for this catastrophic order. Can there be such an order without the government's knowledge? This is a mirror to this ignorant government," he tweeted.
Alleging "oppression" of the people of Karnataka since the BJP came to power at the Centre and in the state, Kumaraswamy said that "this is an effort to uproot Kannada and ensure disappearance of Karnataka's pride".
"Kannada and Karnataka are caught in butchers' hands. We need to protect our Kannada from this stranglehold of those patronising Hindi," he tweeted.
Kumaraswamy demanded the withdrawal of the order and warned of taking to the streets to protest if action is not taken on the issue.
"The officer who issued such a betrayal order should be transferred and the order must be withdrawn. Kannada students must be compulsorily selected for the tour programme. Otherwise, we have to get on to streets and protest," he tweeted.