Karnataka celebrated its 62nd formation day with festivity on Wednesday, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urging everyone in the state to learn Kannada language."Everyone living in the state must learn Kannada and must make their children learn the language. Kannada must be taught in all schools," he told a gathering of thousands at the Kanteerava Stadium here, marking the 62nd Karnataka formation day.Not learning Kannada was "disrespectful" to the language, he said."We urge the central government to formulate a national education policy to provide primary education in the mother tongue. The state has already written to the central government about this," Siddaramaiah stated. "Being born a Kannadiga is my first identity. Being a Kannadiga is what makes me an Indian."The state has no "opposition" to Hindi or English but "we do not agree with the imposition of other languages over Kannada", Siddaramaiah asserted."The state government has responded to Hindi imposition at the metro stations by implementing a two-language policy of Kannada and English," he added.
Learning in Karnataka comes with many prospects, he insisted, adding that renowned scientists like C.N.R. Rao had learned in Kannada.Thousands of school students showcased various cultural programmes with pomp and gaiety depicting the culture of the southern state.The state anthem penned by the renowned poet Kuvempu was sung as a red and yellow flag, which the state government was pushing to be recognised as a 'state flag', was hoisted at the celebrations held across the districts of the state.Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), a political party from Belagavi, observed the state formation day as black day for non-inclusion of Belagavi in Maharashtra. Belagavi Mayor Sanjot Bandekar also took part in the black day observed by the party.On November 1, 1956, Kannada-speaking areas of the erstwhile Bombay and Madras presidencies, along with a region of old Hyderabad from erstwhile Nizam state, merged with the old Mysore region as the new Mysore State when the southern states reorganised their boundaries.The state was renamed Karnataka in 1956. As of 2011 census, the state has a population of 61 million people.