8 Reasons Why It’s Clumsy for Kannadigas to Chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’

1. It’s Hindi. We can no longer afford to accept Hindi imposition. Hindi must go from public places in Karnataka yesterday.

2. It’s political. Some people will pretend it’s not, but it is. We can no longer afford to be tutored by others on what political slogans to shout and which EVM (electronic voting machine) button to press. This docility is killing us.

3. The Kannadized version of Bharat, i.e., Bharata, doesn’t go well with pure Kannada words denoting mother. Thus, while¬†Kannada Taayi is euphonic and nobody questions whether it’s good Kannada, Bharata Taayi sounds alien; it’s also difficult to utter because of the mahaprana in Bha and the unfortunate repetition of ta at the junction of the two words. Nobody says Bharata Taayi. You can’t mix Bharata with other pure Kannada words for mother, either. Bharatamma or Bharatavva are both unacceptable. Nobody says that. On the other hand, Kannadamma and Kannadavva are perfect Kannada words. Note that Maataa is Sanskrit, as is Bharata, and the two words obviously go well together. But when we say Bharata Maataa, it’s not really Kannada. It’s an imported term which cannot be easily translated into Kannada using pure Kannada words. In other words, thinking of Bharat Maataa as our mother requires us to import the words in which to think so, taking the whole process quite far away from our hearts.

4. Even if the Hindi slogan is translated to Kannada as (say) Bhaarata Maatege Jayavagali, it does not come with a universally accepted meaning clarifying the chanter’s stance on his language, its speakers, and their historical abode. The chanter could actually be wishing Bharat Maate well at the cost of Kannada, Kannadigas, and Karnataka. The fact that the sentence is Kannada doesn’t provide the missing clarity.

5. If chant a slogan we must, we Kannadigas have Sirigannadam Gelge Sirigannadam Baalge. By chanting this we unequivocally wish ourselves, our people, and our language well. Doing this and letting other linguistic peoples do the same must be our way of ensuring India’s victory.

6. Although our great poet Kuvempu called Karnataka Maate the daughter of Bharata Maate, the former existed long before the latter, and there are good reasons to call the former the latter’s mother. Thus we the children of Karnataka Maate are like Bharata Maate’s siblings. Both we and she must sing praise of our common mother, Karnataka Maate.

7. Some people want us to ‘think accommodatively’ and sing priase of both Bharata Maate and Kannada Taayi. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that Bharata Maate is our sibling. In fact, those who worship this sibling have very little respect for Taayi. They call mother unofficial and claim to have the right to cut her into pieces. They’re not even done celebrating the dissection of Telugu Taayi.

8. Even above Kannada Taayi sits Shakti, the abode of cosmic energy, that Goddess from whom everything emerges. When we feel really spiritual about where we live, we must chant Shakti‘s praise, not anyone else’s. This is done very beautifully in the Anthem of Mysore, Kayou Sri Gowri, sung even to this day with the greatest feeling of bhakti, thereby connecting the singer and the listener alike directly to divinity. No intermediaries, thank you.