Bengaluru: Outraged by back-to-back attempts to humiliate Kannadigas by global search engine Google and world’s largest e-tailer Amazon, Karnataka Congress on Sunday sought an investigation into the US-based tech giants for insulting their Kannada language and the state flag.
“The state government must investigate Google and Amazon for their attempts to humiliate Kannadigas by insulting their language and abusing their state flag by using its colours and emblem on a bikini,” opposition party’s state unit president D. K. Shivakumar tweeted in Kannada.
Though Google apologised on June 3 for hosting a website, which carried a mock result dubbing “Kannada is the ugliest language in India”, Shivakumar wondered who wanted to hurt Kannada pride and what problem they have with the great culture and tradition of resilient Kannadigas.
“I hope the state government will investigate into the alleged attempts by Google and Amazon to humiliate us by insulting our language and state flag,” said Shivakumar after Amazon’s web sites in Britain, Canada, Japan and Mexico flagged on Friday a bikini or a two-piece fabric in yellow and red, which are colours of the state flag.
Urging multinationals to study Indian culture, the Congress leader said they should refrain from indulging in such acts, which the 6.5-crore Kannadigas would not tolerate or forgive.
Protesting against the e-commerce firm on Saturday, Kannada Rakshana Vedike (Protection Forum) president Praveen Shetty called for boycotting Amazon’s goods, as it had hurt the sentiment of Kannada people.
The state flag or “nada dwaja” was unveiled by party’s leader Siddaramaiah when he was the state chief minister from 2013-2018.
Karnataka is the second Indian state to have a flag of its own after the undivided Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kannada has a history of its own having come into existence over 2,500 years ago and has been the pride of Kannadigas through the ages,” said state Kannada and Culture Minister Arvind Limbavali on Saturday.
Janata Dal-Secular leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also criticised Google for behaving in an “irresponsible manner”.
In its Twitter handle, Google’s India arm apologised by posting in Kannada that “search isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, the way content is described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries. We apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting anyone’s sentiments.”