Shops, private companies without Kannada signboards to lose trade license

Bengaluru: Shops and commercial establishments, which do not display name boards with 60% the visual representation in Kannada, might lose their trade licenses. The new rule will come into effect from November 1, the day which also marks Kannada Rajyotsava, the formation of Karnataka. 

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) came up with the order on Saturday, after taking into consideration the suggestions made by the Kannada Development Authority (KDA). 

The civic body’s health department has been authorised to inspect the name boards while giving permission for the trade. The rule also applies to private companies, hotels etc. While 60% of the space in the nameboard should be earmarked to Kannada, rest of the name board can be in any other language. 

This is however not the first such order. The BBMP had come up with similar rules even in 2017 and 2018. Last year, the civic body had sent notices to nearly 4,000 establishments, directing them to display signage written in Kannada. 

Pro-Kannada activists have been leading the campaign to ensure shops and commercial establishments display Kannada in the name boards prominently. There were also several clashes between shop owners and activists for not following the rule. 

The move to have 60% of the name board in Kannada might bring an image makeover to the BJP leaders in Karnataka who have been criticized for being in favour of Hindi. The BJP is currently ruling the state and is also in power in BBMP.


Photo Copyright: Nikhil Rasiwasia