We are ‘Kannadians’ from Karnatak only!

Bengaluru: A prominent journalist took to his column this week to tell his version of the JD(S)' fated rise to power. "All of us then memorised and learned to correctly pronounce his full name: Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda," he wrote, in passing.

Those who expected more such diligence from the media (and the political class) this election season were in for disappointment. Indeed, to say that the elections have put 'Karnataka' in the news might be a bit of a stretch: More accurately, 'Karnatak' and the 'Kannadians', whoever they are, have been in the eye of the media storm in a deluge of mispronunciations, some funny, others just sad.

Long-time Karnataka residents, witness to a veritable massacre of local nomenclature, cringed every time the name of their state and its politicians was mispronounced. During election season, those errors flowed thick and fast, with the national media landing up on our doorsteps, but distanced from local lingo. 

Politicians mispronounced names of their rivals, sometimes those of their friends, (remember Amit Shah?). The BJP's chief ministerial candidate, B.S. Yeddyurappa, had his name shortened to 'Yeddy'!  AICC President Rahul Gandhi was the subject of much trolling, when he recited a famous Vachana: “Ivanaarava Ivanaarava Endenisadirayya, Iva Nammava Iva Nammava Endenisirayya (Don’t ask who he is/ Say he is one of us)." Basaveswara's teachings proved too much of a mouthful for the scion. The BJP launched an immediate onslaught. But even P.M. Modi, who tried his hand at the same vachana, was defeated by the second line.

Social media presented a rich offering of garbled names. The unfortunate trawler was treated to perversions like 'Kannadians' (we presume they mean Kannadiga), by a right-wing media house. The mispronunciations gather a good deal of righteous indignation. Attempts to insist that the name of the state is pronounced with the ‘a’ at the end, was met with the smug: “But that’s the South Indian pronunciation, na?” 

Apathy, then, or just downright audaciousness? 

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Note from Kannada.Club :

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