Discuss the issues associated with Gokak Language Movement in Karnataka.
Introduction: Give a background of the Gokak Movement
Body: Mention the issues that led to the movement. Mention about the leadership that was provided for the movement. Also talk about the popular response for the movement
Conclusion: Conclude that the movement showed the solidarity of people of Karnataka and restored the pride in Kannada culture.
The Gokak movement was a successful language rights agitation in the 1980s that fought for the first-language status of the Kannada language in Karnataka. And also it was protest against Hindi, Sanskrit and English language while Kannada Language was completely ignored in Education System of Karnataka. This was strongly opposed by many Kannada writers.
The genesis of this massive Kannadiga movement is the recommendation of an expert committee headed by Jnanapith recipient writer V. K. Gokak to make Kannada as the first language from class eight and to make teaching of Kannada language mandatory from class three.
Though an agitation was launched by litterateurs and personalities from the cultural sphere with the support of political parties and Kannada activists, students, there was no support from the student community. Common Kannadigas did not bother to be part of this movement, as they initially failed to understand the seriousness of making Kannada as the first language. It was at this juncture, noted litterateurs approached Kannada icon Dr Rajkumar to lead the movement. With the entry of Rajkumar, besides common people, entire Kannada film industry jumped into the movement and the agitation spread like wildfire. Finally, understanding the gravity of the issue, the Congress government bogged down and accepted to implement the recommendations of Gokak Committee in letter and spirit.
The Government of Karnataka, headed by the then Chief Minister, R. Gundu Rao, responded to the seriousness of the agitation, which had gained significant momentum after Rajkumar had taken leadership of the agitation. It announced that it accepted the report submitted by the Gokak Committee and promised to ensure all the primary facilities that the language deserves as the mother tongue of the local people as well as the official language of the state of Karnataka.