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‘MNCs will be required to display the number of Kannadiga employees on notice boards on campuses’: Karnataka Minister Shivaraj S Tangadagi

On Wednesday (21st February), Karnataka’s minister Shivaraj S Tangadagi said that multinational companies in Karnataka should display the number of Kannadiga employees on notice boards on their campuses. The minister has also threatened that the licenses of the companies will be cancelled if they fail to display the numbers of employees. This statement by the minister has stirred controversy as it follows the policy of Karnataka’s ruling Congress leaders in the name of linguistic pride. The state government recently passed a new rule on Thursday (15th February) according to which business licenses would be cancelled if the signboards do not have 60 per cent Kannada.

Shivaraj S Tangadagi is the minister of Kannada and cultural affairs in the state government. He said on Wednesday, “Multinational companies will be required to display the number of Kannadigas employed on notice boards at their campuses. Failure to comply with the language requirement may result in the cancellation of licenses, as stated by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government.”

On Wednesday (14th February), the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which seeks to amend the 2022 Act, was tabled in the Karnataka state assembly house during the budget session. It was passed on Thursday. While moving this bill, Minister Shivaraj S Tangadagi said, “In the rules, we will provide for cancellation of licences. Only when licences are cancelled will businesses and establishments feel the pinch. At the time of issuing fresh licences or renewing existing licences, we will first ensure that they have complied with the rules on using Kannada in (name) boards.”

The Karnataka state government and the Congress party have been relying on invoking linguistic pride issues since the Congress party came to power in the state in 2023. It has targeted Hindu organisations like Bajrang Dal right from the state assembly election manifesto. The various freebies schemes of government have proved a burdening load on the state exchequer. However, the state Congress leaders were seen criticising the union government for allocating less funds in comparison to the taxes collected from the Kannada state.

Now, the state government asking companies to display the number of employees from various linguistic backgrounds is seen as a step that may further disrupt the state. There are many multinational companies in Karnataka. Bangalore is considered a start-up hub. Thousands of non-Kannadiga employees in these companies live in Karnataka. Displaying these numbers may incite hostile situations for these businesses and their employees.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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