I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kannada chauvinism: KQA and Kumaraswamy

One feature about quizzing which I like is how it enriches me as a person. I will walk away from most quizzes with at least one book or a film recommendation and two-three things to do more research about, in my interest areas - history, genetics, sports.

The way quizmasters do this is by asking questions which they make themselves, based on films they have seen and liked, books they have read, magazines they read, conversations they have had and thought that they have put in which shows us connections between things we didn't think existed. Bad quizmasters either don't have time to watch films, read books, have conversations or do not want to put in thought. Perhaps they are incapable. I have no expectations from them and hence, don't turn up in quizzes they host.

However, I do have expectations from good quizmasters. Sometimes, I am let down. This happens ever so often in KQA (Karnataka Quiz Association) when the quizmasters ask Kannada questions. I know it's their prerogative and ultimately, there's nothing wrong with regional preferences. However, these questions are not enriching enough as there is no context which is shared and no efforts made to explain why the film shown is mentioned or the song is relevant. Instead, we are subjected to two minutes of an alien language and then some other teams get points. Plain boring, quite biased and extremely chauvinistic.

Sometimes, some KQA quizmasters say that they are doing this to promote Kannada culture. While I have cribs that they stop at asking the question and not at making the culture accessible, at least they are providing positive incentive to us to learn a bit more about it.

H.D. Kumaraswamy, the Karnataka chief master can perhaps learn from KQA. In a bird-brained move, his government has enforced a retrograde policy and banned some 800-1500 schools from teaching in English in the primary school. Again, the Government has taken the easy way out and instead of creating positive incentives (which are obviously non-trivial and difficult to implement when it comes to saving languages) has chosen to infringe upon people's right to choose.

Now, while the Policy permits the government to take this step, it would have been wiser to learn from the KQA. Even I have started remembering some Kannada film names!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not BAN of schools, They have canceled the permission because they had taken a permission to run Kannada school & started English medium. Dont u think this is illegal ?


Wednesday, September 27, 2006 10:37:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Praveen, from what I read from the article, the 1994 policy which forces schools to teach in Kannada has been enforced now.

I have commented on this policy. Don't you think such a policy is retrograde?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 10:55:00 PM

Blogger Sunil B said...

NFL, Worldseries or movies by Roman Polanski would all be applauded with joy, however couple of question on Regional movies or art are delt with contempt. Why this prejudice ? Is quizzing about knowing things which are cool?

We are admist a phase were the kannada culture has eroded and the language has lost its relanvance. And i think its the policy makers effort to stem this wrought. It might not look progressive enough, but i believe 5 years of elementary education in ones mother tongue would not lead to serious disadvantage (viz-a-viz children learning through english as medium of instruction).

I am aware of similar initiatives by WB govt in the past. Don't know where they stand now. Are there any hard way(s) out ?

Friday, September 29, 2006 11:10:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you fully. In fact for this act, I have awarded the Karnataka government my award for the Looniest Government in India

The thing that surprises me is that you are one of the very few prominent bloggers to focus on this

Saturday, September 30, 2006 8:45:00 AM


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