Absence of ‘Kannada flag’ at some Rajyotsava functions draws flak

In keeping with the convention, the government hoisted both the tricolour and the yellow and red Kannada flag at the Rajyotsava function led by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in the State capital on Sunday. However, in several districts, Ministers only hoisted the tricolour, giving the Kannada flag the go by. This has caused outrage in some circles.

Hubballi-Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Chikkamagaluru, Mandya, Bidar, Kalaburagi and several other districts did not see the Kannada flag hoisted, even as it was hoisted in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi, and Hassan.

Even as several writers criticised the move, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) led a Twitterstorm protest on Monday evening. Kannada and Culture Minister and BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi, who had earlier opposed the State adopting a flag officially, received criticism. “Kannadigas will never tolerate attempts to erase the markers of our identity and to impose an ideology on us,” said T.A. Narayana Gowda, president of KRV.

Senior writer S.G. Siddaramaiah, who led the flag committee constituted by the erstwhile Congress government in 2017, said this was an attack on the federal structure of the country. “A State flag is not a secessionist act. Our identity is complementary to the national identity. After all, our ‘nadageethe’ describes ‘Karnataka Mate’ as the daughter of ‘Bharata Janani’,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah, who had earlier championed a State flag, criticised the move in a series of tweets. “All previous governments have been hoisting the Kannada flag on Rajyotsava day. The CM has to answer as to what the constraints were that troubled district administrations, when the Kannada flag was hoisted in his presence.”

Mr. Ravi, however, said that in the absence of the flag having an official status, confusion reigned among district administrations on whether to hoist it. “A few days ago, I asked for a clarification on the matter from the Chief Secretary. No circular could be issued as the flag isn’t recognised officially,” he said. As district in-charge Minister of Chikkamagaluru, he hoisted only the tricolour. He also claimed there was no practice of hoisting the Kannada flag in the district.

Earlier, Mr. Ravi had batted against giving official status for the flag, arguing that the Constitution provided for only one flag, the tricolour. He also said the yellow and red flag was a cultural one and not the “State flag”.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 4:52:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/absence-of-kannada-flag-at-some-rajyotsava-functions-draws-flak/article33006443.ece

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