Bengaluru auto driver, passenger's heated debate over Kannada vs Hindi sparks controversy yet again

Bengaluru auto driver, passenger's heated debate over Kannada vs Hindi sparks controversy yet again

In the 26-second viral video, the auto driver is seen refusing to speak in Hindi while the passenger is adamant about not speaking in Kannada. The two continue to argue and berate each other.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, March 13, 2023, 10:15 AM IST
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Screengrab of the viral video | Twitter

Language row in India is not new, especially in the southern part of the country where Hindi vs regional language debate tees up fresh controversy often. In the latest, a heated exchange between Bengaluru auto driver and a female passenger over Hindi vs Kannada has stirred new row.

In the 26-second viral video, the auto driver is seen refusing to speak in Hindi while the passenger is adamant about not speaking in Kannada. The two continue to argue and berate each other.

In the video, which seems to be cropped at places, the driver states that the passenger is in Karnataka and she has to speak in Kannada. He also says that this is his land and questions why he should be speaking in Hindi as the women keeps refusing to speak in Kannada.

The authenticity of the video has not been ascertained independently.

Viral video leads to social media debate

Social media users jumped on the language row boat and weighed in their options. While some criticised the driver for being so adamant, some hailed him for standing his ground and being articulate.

Some users pointed out that the two could have used the common language the two knew--English--instead of stretching their argument.

"This sort of experience was quite regular in Bangalore 20 odd years back… one would think that with influx of people from all over India and world, things would have changed for the better. Doesn’t look like," said one user.

Author Rejimon Kuttappan also weighed in and commented, "Please find that lady who intimidated that autodriver and advise her to read Indian Constituion Preamble 10 times."

"I love this auto guy. Why should he speak in Hindi? If he were to come to Lucknow and speak in Kannada will they accept it? Hindi is not our national language. I speak 6 Indian Languages including Hindi & I make it a point to learn the local language wherever I live or work," a user wrote hailing the driver.

"The focus should be on whether you are able to communicate whatever language it is!! I’m a South Indian and I think sometimes we take it too far and the North Indians, why make an issue, you are able to communicate with the auto guy and he’s able to as well. Matter closed," another user said.

Bengaluru incident second in a week

Earlier last week, an auto driver was seen harassing a Rapido driver from Northeast India and also broke his phone. It is yet to be ascertained what was the cause behind the irate driver's rage.

Hindi sour spot in South India

Hindi has been emotive issue in southern India with the states reacting angrily to Home Minister Amit Shah's appeal to broaden reach of Hindi in all parts of India. Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Karnataka Congress and AIMIM Telangana criticised Shah for his remark.

Last year, a language debate sparked in the film industry as well between actors Kiccha Sudeep and Ajay Devgn getting into a small verbal spat over Twitter on Hindi vs regional language.

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