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Is the Bommai government in Karnataka tracing its DNA to Kannada language?

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

In an interesting move, the Karnataka Government has directed that on all official events and meetings, customary gifts should not be given. Instead on all such meetings and events, the officials have been directed to give Kannada books to dignitaries as gifts.

Usually important personalities and VIPs are given customary bouquets, garlands, fruit baskets, shawls, stoles and mementoes when they come to attend official events and meetings. Now as per a State Government order issued by the Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar, which has come into effect, specifies that in place of usual gifts Kannada books should be given. 

This direction was issued just a few hours after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said no to a bouquet of flowers given to him by senior police officers. The Chief Minister was attending a review meeting which was held at the Vidhana Soudha.

The Chief Minister commented: "This is an unnecessary expenditure. There is no need to give bouquets, garlands and shawls in the name of protocol at every meeting. Let us all discontinue this tradition from this moment.”

What is interesting is that the MLA from Karkala V. Sunil Kumar too had made a request on similar lines to his well-wishers a few days back. He had conveyed this when he was made part of the Cabinet a few days ago. Heading the Ministries of Energy and Kannada and Culture, he had exhorted his well-wishers to refrain from giving him expensive garlands and bouquets and instead give Kannada books.

Kumar also stated that the books he would receive as gifts will be given to the public library in his constituency. It has been reported that so far he has received more than 1,000 books after he made public his request. Kumar told the media: “I have received thousands of books and will give them to the library in Karkala, Udupi district (his constituency). Any additional books will be given to gram panchayats in the region.”