(Photo Courtesy: Hariprasad Holla)
There was a discussion about the Kannada Number Plates for the vehicles in Karnataka.There were some arguments against it and for it. This made me to think further and deeper.
Today by and large we see 'English only' number plates in Karnataka and very few Kannada only number plates and very very few Kannada and English number plates. However Kannada is the majority Language of Karnataka and English is understood by only small number of people. There was an argument that Kannada number plates doesn't make practical sense. However the question is, for whome it impractical is unanswered; for what percentage of people its impractical its unanswered.
All over the world we have democracy built *primarily* based on welfare of Majority. One of the fundamental philosohpical principle of true democracy is to facilitate
'maximum comfort for maximum number of people'.
This should be guiding force for any nation or state in pursuit of true democracy. So coming back to Karnataka, Kannada is the preferred language of the majority of the people in Karnataka, becuase people feel comfort in that langauge. Similarly Tamil in Tamil Nadu and Telugu in Andhra Pradesh and so on. So if we say we are true democracy we can't dismember/ignore/discount the majority and impose minority language on the majority.
Kannadigas living in Karnataka are the natives(permanent)of this state and the majority of them who are born here, who grow up here and who die here. Minority immigrants will definitely miss one of these that is to say either they wouldn't be born here or they wouldn't grow here or they wouldn't die here. So, It does a lot of practical sense to build the system, be it political, economical for the natives i.e Kannadigas in Karnataka , Tamils in Tamil Naadu and Telugus in Andhra Pradesh and so on. It would be foolish/impractical if we try to build the systems for the minority immigrants because there is always an element of 'uncertainity' attached with immigrants. So one cannot waste the systems on minority immigrants. So more practical scenario would be for the immigrants to mingle with majority natives. Its only in the best interest of immigrants ot learn the language of natives because immigrants are in minority for the foreseeable future in Karnataka.
It would be disastrous to see a Kannadigas becoming minority in Karnataka and Tamils becoming minority in Tamil Naadu and so on. It defeats the whole purpose of the carving out 'Linguistic States' during the formation fo Indian Nation. The idea behind carving out the Linguistic States would be not just to preserve the Linguistic, Cultural diversity of India but also even strengthen it because that is only the way to go forward. That is the true democracy. That is only the way to uphold the true humanity and humanitarian values.
Not allowing Kannada Number(name) Plates in Karnataka, Not allowing Tamil number(name) plates in Tamil Nadu and Not allowing Telugu number(name) plates in Andhra Pradesh is truely 'Undemoratic' and it is fundamentally against the spirit and intentions of democracy and democratic values.