Classical tag to Kannada adds zest to Karnataka formation day

November 1st, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniBangalore, Nov 1 (IANS) Recognition of the 1,500-year-old Kannada language as a classical language by the central government added zest to Karnataka’s celebration of its 53rd formation day Saturday.Ambika Soni, the central minister for culture announced the grant of classical status to Kannada and Telugu, the language of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Friday.

The other two languages with the classical tag are Sanskrit and Tamil.

All major government buildings across Karnataka were lit up Friday night within hours of Soni’s announcement which was greeted by bursting of firecrackers and distribution of sweets at several places in the state by pro-Kannada organisations.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa hailed the central government’s decision and cancelled plans to take a delegation to Delhi Nov 4 to meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to demand the classical tag for Kannada.

He said the Kannada Rajyotsava (formation of the state in 1956 by integrating most of the Kannada speaking areas into it) should this year be celebrated as ‘Vijayotsava’ (Day of victory) as the state’s political parties and pro-Kannada organisations had been agitating for the last four years to get the classical tag for Kannada in the wake of Tamil being granted the recognition.

Hundreds of schoolchildren in Bangalore presented a colourful cultural programme Saturday morning at Kanteerava Stadium in the heart of the city as part of the Rajyotsava celebrations.

To mark the occasion former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam launched ‘Arogya Kavacha’ (Health shield) service to provide 24X7 free emergency response facility. The service is a public-private partnership of the state government with Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), a Hyderabad-based non profit organisation set up by Satyam Computers founder B. Ramalinga Raju. Kalam is chairman emeritus of EMRI.

The service can be accessed by dialling a toll-free number 108.

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