Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah took on chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to task on his statement of starting 1,000 English medium schools in the state. Kannada should be the ‘supreme language’ in Karnataka, said Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah tweeted, "One should have clarity about Kannada language learning and Kannada as medium of education. So, are only those who study in English medium, intelligent? I too studied in Kannada medium till high school (10th standard). So does that mean I am unintelligent? I will speak to Kumaraswamy about the proposal to open 1,000 English medium schools."


He lashed out at Kumaraswamy's decision while speaking at an event organised by Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara in Badami, from where he won the assembly election in May.

In harsh words, Siddaramaiah even said that those who don’t like their mother tongue are “not even a human”.

“It is an illusion that only those who studied in English medium can become doctors or engineers. There is no problem if English is learnt as a language. But education should be imparted in Kannada as medium of instruction. We should have the characteristics of loving our language, land and water. One who cannot do this, is not even a human," he said.

"Learning is very important. I have read a lot when I was a practicing lawyer. But after becoming a politician, I am not able to keep up with reading. But I speak on the basis of what I have learnt, read then," he added.

Speaking about his bad experiences which helped him to bring out various schemes as a chief minister, he said, "I did not have proper slippers while going to school, so I announced shoe bhagya (shoe scheme); only some could afford rice, so I implemented Annabhagya (rice scheme). These experiences of my life are inspiration for my schemes. Thus, experience can always become a lesson.”

It can be remembered that Kumaraswamy had told that he had studied in Kannada medium and that had posed him problems many a times, when he had to converse in English.

Siddaramaiah, by mentioning his personal experiences, was taunting Kumaraswamy that even bad experiences can lead to something good, but one must be ready to learn from them.

Kumaraswamy's announcement regarding 1,000 English medium schools had met with opposition from Kannada writers and they had also warned of a movement, if this was implemented.

Jnanpith awardees, Dr Chandrashekhar Kambara, SL Bhyrappa, writers and poets Prof Chandrashekhar Patil, Dr Siddalingaiah also had openly criticised Kumaraswamy's decision. They had sent a memorandum to chief minister stating that let English be taught as a language and not as the medium of instruction.

However, Kumaraswamy even recently had told that he will not backtrack from implementing the proposal of opening English medium schools. However, with Siddaramaiah, one of the top leaders from the Congress, which is an alliance partner of Kumaraswamy government, openly opposing the move, the alliance government may see difficulty in implementing the same.