Siddaramaiah got his first Kannada lessons on sand: Veteran Congressman shares his story in Assembly

Many summers ago, long before he got his law degree, a young Siddaramaiah learnt to scribble the Kannada lipi on sand.

Published: 25th March 2022 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2022 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

Congress Party leader Siddaramaiah. (File | EPS)

Congress leader Siddaramaiah (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Many summers ago, long before he got his law degree, a young Siddaramaiah learnt to scribble the Kannada lipi on sand. Then, he was part of a folk dance troupe. “Unlike many, I did not learn how to write on a slate, but on sand, under the guidance of my dance teacher,” Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah recalled his initial days of learning.

It was during a discussion in the Assembly on Thursday that a BJP MLA pointed out that the Congress leader was looking young after shaving his beard, to which Siddaramaiah said he was 75 years old, according to his school admission records, and even that was not authentic.

“Neither do I know my date of birth, nor did my parents know. When I was admitted to Class 5 directly, the school teacher wrote a random date on the admission form, that I use as my date of birth. Though all my official records have this date, it is not my true birthday,” he said.

Recalling his childhood days, he said both his parents never went to school, and his father admitted him to Veera Makkala Kunitha, the folk dance troupe in his village Siddaramana Hundi. “Fortunately, one of my dance teachers taught me how to read and write Kannada during free time. He taught me to write on sand. In two years, he taught me the alphabet, grammar and much more. It is something I can never forget,’’ he said. 

During primary and high school days, he had dedicated teachers who taught passionately. “Because of them, I was able to read and write, and become literate,’’ he said. Appreciating the former CM’s knowledge of Kannada, Congress MLA Krishna Byregowda said no one in the House has better knowledge of Kannada grammar than Siddaramaiah.

“Not just finance and social justice, Siddaramiah has good knowledge of Kannada. He can enlighten children in schools with his amazing knowledge,” Byregowda said. 

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri quipped that if Siddaramaiah questions children, it might not be an issue, but if he questions teachers, it could become problematic for them.


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