Highlights from Newspaper

Vandalism and Kannada Signboard Controversy in Bengaluru

  • Activists in Bengaluru staged a protest against non-Kannada signboards, resulting in destruction throughout the city.

Kannada Signboards Issue 

  • Kannada Signboards Demand: The problem began in the early 2000s, when Bengaluru established as a global IT hub. In 2002, then-Chief Minister S.M. Krishna issued a directive for Kannada billboards that lacked legal backing.
  • Legal Obstacles: Attempts to compel Kannada signboards were thwarted by the High Court, which stayed and overturned similar rules in 2009 and 2014.

Legislation and Protests: Recent Developments

  • Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Act, 2022: The Act, passed by the State Legislature in 2022, requires Kannada to be used on 60% of all signboards.
  • KRV’s Campaign: KRV advocated for the introduction of this standard, which sparked the protest and subsequent damage.
  • Ordinance of the State Government: The state government intends to issue an ordinance clarifying the 60:40 regulation for signboards, with a compliance deadline of February 28.

The Effect on Commercial Establishments

  • Businesses are concerned about the new legislation, fearing increasing vigilante actions and financial difficulties as a result of signboard alterations.
  • Retailers’ opposition: The Retailers Association of India and other industry groups have spoken out against the mandate, noting its impact on Bengaluru’s cosmopolitan nature and brand image.

Political Changes

  • The topic has gained political relevance ahead of the legislative elections, with both the Congress and the BJP adopting views on it.
  • Kannada as a Political Plank: Despite political agreement on the language’s promotion, Kannada has not been a successful political issue in the state.

Concerns about Bengaluru’s Image 

  • Bengaluru is in jeopardy: Bengaluru’s reputation as a worldwide investment destination may suffer as a result of the vandalism and linguistic debate.
  • Requests for Government Action: Industry executives and civic groups have asked the government to take steps to repair trust and protect the city’s welcoming character.


  • Sensible Policy: The government must promote Kannada while keeping Bengaluru’s cosmopolitan and investor-friendly image.
  • Addressing Vandalism: To prevent additional harm to Bengaluru’s brand and social cohesion, strong action against vandalism and a balanced approach to language policy are required.
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