The Kannada Development Authority (KDA) on Monday asked the regional heads of all nationalized, rural and scheduled banks to make mandatory for their non-Kannada speaking staffers to learn Kannada within six months.
Siddaramaiah said he will later visit the bank branches to ascertain that the instructions of the KDA have been implemented effectively.
In a circular issued to banks, KDA chairman SG Siddaramaiah said, "If employees fail to learn Kannada in six months, they should be relieved of their services in accordance with the recruitment rules". "The banks have to take up the said measures on an emergency basis", Siddaramaiah said.
The KDA directed banks to carry out their day to day business in the local language so that people are not excluded from banking services, News18 reported.
He said, "Following this, official staff from other languages who are working in your banks should mandatorily learn Kannada within six months". "We cannot ignore the fact that not paying due respect to the local language can lead to conflicts in future", he said, adding that all advertisements used in the banks should be printed in three languages, keeping Kannada as the main language. Just a few days ago it was decided that metro stations in Bengaluru would not have Hindi signboards anymore.
Many IT companies in the city received an email from the authority stating that henceforth only Kannada language should be used for software coding. The decision came after there were massive protests regarding the use of Hindi.
Recently, there have been reports of growing anti-Hindi and pro-Kannadiga agitations in Karnataka.