Type ‘ugliest language’ on the search bar on Google, and the results that show up currently sum up the last 24 hours of a virtual battle where Kannada speaking netizens took offence, demanded an apology and got one for what did show as results for the same precisely 24 hours ago.
Twenty hours ago, though, a screenshot of the google result that went viral sparked outrage, with even the government taking note of the 'result' that showed Kannada as the ugliest language in India.
As protests began to rise, Google removed the result and issued an apology.
Karnataka Minister for Kannada and Culture Aravind Limbavali tweeted, saying the state would sue Google for showing the state's language in such a bad light. "The Kannada language has a history of its own, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago," the minister said and added that the language had been the pride of Kannadigas through the ages.
Across political lines, the state demanded a correction and expressed objections to the search results. Former Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy also expressed disappointment over the issue, asking why it takes such outrage for Google to ensure such results aren't shown in searches.
" Not just Kannada, no language is ugly. All languages are beautiful. Language is an emotional issue. Abuse pertaining to language is very painful. Hence, Google should be very careful in this mater. The site that abused Kannada might have been taken off. But what is the relief to the pain caused to Kannadigas," tweeted Kumaraswamy.
"History of Kannada dates back to Ramayana & Mahabharata. The glory and legacy of Vijayanagara Empire, Sri Krishna Devaraya's Kingdom is being adored by the world even today. How @Google can be so irresponsible to defame Kannada, which has 43M native speakers?," asked MP Shobha Karandlaje while adding hashtag #QueenOfAllLanguages that then began to trend.
Hundreds of Kannadigas began to hail Kannada as one of the oldest languages and the one that Vinoba Bhave called as the 'Queen of All Languages'.