Sanskrit was the dominant language in schools where students completed their education without having to study Kannada language. This created incompatibility between languages that were used for state administration and education. This led to a linguistic movement against maintaining Sanskrit as the first language in School. This movement was supported by political parties, groups of Kannada teachers, students, college and university professors, playwrights and creative writers.
V.K. Gokak was the former Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka University. He is one of the Jnanpith awardees who headed the committee appointed by the Government of Karnataka to analyse and study the linguistic issues. The report given by the committee recommended that the Government provide first language status to Kannada and also demanded the primary facilities that the language needed at the time.
Several public sectors opposed the Gokak Report which also included minorities from various non-Kannada speaking groups. Despite the report being submitted by the committee the Government had not passed any ruling. This resulted in minor protests from various groups. Public gave a moderate response and there were no signs from the Government that it intended to implement the recommendations.
Personalities of Kannada literature and cinema world that included G. Narayankumar and Rajkumar and soon the entire Kannada film industry stopped its film-making activity. The agitation gained a strong momentum and there was a drastic change in the response from the general public. The then chief minister was R. Gundu Rao announced that the recommendation of the Gokak committee was accepted.
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