BENGALURU: Riding on a string of successes in increasing Kannada visibility on boards across Bengaluru and the state, Kannada Development Authority (KDA) chairman Prof S G Siddaramaiah is now nurturing an ambitious dream: To have Kannada on passports issued by the Regional Passport Offices in the state.
Siddaramaiah said KDA will insist that Regional Passport Offices in Karnataka use Kannada on every passport they issue henceforth. “It could be on the cover page of the passport to the inside pages where stamping is done… Also, the last page that has the name and other details of passport holders should be printed in Kannada along with English.”
A passport is a travel document issued by a government that certifies the identity and nationality of its holder, primarily for the purpose of international travel. For that matter, any regional script on the passport will not make any difference to the foreign immigration officials screening the document.For them, English is the language that matters and it is one of the two official languages of India as per the Constitution, the other being Hindi (Devanagari script).But Siddaramaiah insists, “There are many countries across the world which issue passports with their regional languages. It’s a matter of pride… We are going to meet the passport officials this week to discuss the matter.’’
Prof Siddaramiah, after taking charge as KDA chairman, has made various authorities use Kannada in their day-to-day work — visibly and audibly. Just a few months ago, he and his team visited Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) where they forced the airport authorities to use Kannada in their announcements.
“Now, announcements are being made in Kannada along with English. Even the arrival/departure display boards are in English and Kannada. Earlier, it was English and Hindi,’’ Siddaramiah told The New Indian Express. This apart, even the travelogue related to Karnataka and booklets are available in Kannada, too, he pointed out.