indira gandhi
Meeting between Indian Premier Minister Indira Gandhi and President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office Dated: 28 March 1966wikimedia commons

While Karnataka government is mulling to name its low-cost canteen initiative "Namma Indira canteens", Kannadigas are up in arms against using names of leaders from North India. The people have demanded the canteens be given a local flavour.

The Kannadigas have started tweeting with the hashtag #indirabedaAkkabeku to have their voice heard. The phrase "indirabedaAkkabeku" roughly translates to "we don't want Indira, we want sister" referring to Akka Mahadevi, a 12th century female Kannada poet and a prominent figure in Veerashaiva Bhakti movement. 

The Congress party in the state, which is considering launching canteens after the "Amma Canteens" in Tamil Nadu, wanted to give a name that identifies with the Congress party.

Karnataka ministers proposed the name of the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who is known for campaigns like "Garibi Hatao" and slogans like  "Roti, kapda aur makaan", for the canteens during a meeting in March 2017. 

However, the reaction so far has been negative with Kannadigas rejecting the state government's decision to name the canteen after Hindi-speaking leaders.