Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)
A war of words has erupted between Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Kannada Development Authority after she called the KDA “an insignificant group of naysayers” for opposing the state government’s proposal to introduce English medium classes in 1,000 primary schools.
“Media always portrays a small & insignificant group of nay sayers as ‘activists’ – these r usually attention seeking trouble makers who don’t care about education nor employment (sic),” Shaw tweeted on July 7, referring to KDA’s stand on the issue. That day the KDA chairman had led a delegation to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, urging him to rollback the proposal to introduce English medium classes in the schools and instead encourage education in the mother tongue, Kannada.
The delegation comprised freedom fighter H S Doreswamy and writers Chandrashekar Kambar, Chandrashekar Patil and M Chidanandamurthy. Responding to KDA’s stand, Shaw said “political malcontents” are trying to play mischief with her tweets and added that she stood by her comments that students should learn Kannada and English for competent job opportunities. “…I stand by this for the sake of Karnataka’s youth. Pls don’t twist my comments. CM is also saying this #CMofKarnataka (sic),” she added.
Taking objection to Shaw’s comments, KDA Chairman S G Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to her seeking an apology. He expressed anguish over Shaw’s tweets. “I have no option but to sympathize with your views on education, that is devoid of cultural and human values,” he said.
“It is but natural for people like you to simply equate education with employment, to wash your hands of by whimsically adopting few government schools out of your CSR funds and inculcate unwanted English ambitions in their minds,” he added.
Siddaramaiah also said that the government patronizes the mother tongue in the best possible way.