Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Kannada Barutha??"

Aaaah! I am sure most of you in Bangalore would have heard this, but what
is "kannada barutha?" here it goes. Bangalore the IT capital of India , the
silicon city and now a Metro city opened its gates to almost all kinds of
people. Very evidently the recent poll census proved that there are only
47% of original inhabitants in Bangalore/bengaluru.. The life style of the
city has seen a gradual change with Pizza Corners replacing MTR's, classy
eat out's replacing "Vidyarthi Bhavans" and flashy pub's replacing all our
"Mahalakshmi wine shops".

"Change is inevitable" from the days of BEML, HAL and BHEL to INFOSYS,
WIPRO; Bangalore has a new look now on the world map. Gone are the days
where a typical Sunday for any bangalorean was a nice romantic walk on the
pavements of "LALBAGH...", "rave idli and coffee.." at the nearest yet old
looking MTR and a wonderful Annavra film either at Santosh or central
'talkies'. Today's Bangalore is deluged in traffic, stress and pressure,
Saturday nights without beer is desolate and a Sunday without a visit to
either a nearest spa or health clinic is schlocky!! The gandhibazar's are
now AC cooled super markets, majestic is now replaced by ultra modern and
diversified Brigade road, sri cauvery coffee joint is now Coffee days..
and "Bhagyalakshmi coffee adda.. is now barista. With
globalisation and more retail market the city will definitely see more
forceful changes.

Have all these changed our language? Kannada the local language of
Bangalore is supposed to be one of the most meaningful language, it also
has an unique script as compared to its other counterparts; but how many
percentage of people really use Kannada in Bangalore now? The figures are
staggering, only 37% of people speak kannada in the state's capital, for
rest it is only "Kannada barutha?"

Any normal guy starts with this sentence "Kannada barutha?" while talking
to other person, people confirm before they speak the language. You want to
ask an address in Bangalore ? Or reply to a question then English is the
most preferred language other than Hindi.. It's a famous fact that two
kannidagas in an IT company always talk in a neutral language!! even the
vendors and shop keepers are channeled with this new wave, the moment when
you step in any shop in Bangalore , you are always asked "Kannada barutha?"
or the entire conversation takes place in non kannada languages. People
have lost the confidence of speaking in the local language and more over
speaking Kannada on the streets of "M.G road "or "kormangala" is
substandard.

Shopping malls in the city have been completely banned from using Kannada,
not a forced one but definitely an adapted one. One has to confirm that the
other person knows the language before he starts using any language. "ondu
glass beer" is a insult when it comes to any decorous pub in Bangalore .
"Swalpa menu card kodthira..??" has been replaced by "Can I have the menu
card please...?"

Just to hit some facts, marathi is still the largest and common speaking
language in mumbai even though mumbai has the highest no of inhabitants.
Telugu is a practised ritual in yet another IT HUB Hyderabad . When it comes
to tamil nadu, beware you can be alive either if you are a fan of
rajnikanth or you know tamil. Malyalam runs in the blood of every mallu be
it Kuwait , dubai or any hospital; but when it comes to kannada it is
always "kannada barutha?" and next is "namaskara."

I am neither a Kannada activist nor do I run any Kannada supporting
organization, I am just a plebeian who just love the language.
Globalisation is the trend and modernisation is the mantra but at the cost
the language? Sounds no logic.. Is speaking kannada down market? The answer
has to be found within oneself. Next time when you hear "kannada barutha?"
you just remember that "kannada runs in your blood.."