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Last Updated : Nov 01, 2019 12:38 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Karnataka Rajyotsava: Unofficial Kannada flag hits Bengaluru streets to mark statehood day on November 1

Karnataka came into being in the year 1956 and celebrates it as ‘Rajyotsava’ every year

Kannada flag hoisting near Corporation Circle on Karnataka Rajyotsava (Image: Somya Lohia, Moneycontrol)
Kannada flag hoisting near Corporation Circle on Karnataka Rajyotsava (Image: Somya Lohia, Moneycontrol)

The unofficial flag of Karnataka was raised in several parts of Bengaluru as the city celebrated the state's foundation day on November 1. This development comes despite the BS Yediyurappa-led state government's refusal to pursue a proposal for a separate state flag.

Karnataka came into being on this day in the year 1956 and celebrates it as ‘Rajyotsava’ every year.

To mark the day, the unofficial state flag bearing the colours yellow and red with a picture of Bhuvaneswari, who is considered the mother of Karnataka, was hoisted at crossings and poles across the city.

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History of 50 years

The bi-coloured flag came into existence in the 1960s courtesy Kannada writer and activist Ma Ramamurthy. A man, who was one of the pioneers of reorganisation of the state, designed the flag to promote the Kannada cause and stress on the need for state reorganisation, as per a report in Deccan Chronicle. Ramamurthy, along with noted novelist late AN Krishna Rao, popularised the flag in the state, the report said.

Since then, the flag has been used in several pro-Kannada movements as the symbol of the unity of Kannadigas.

BJP stand on Kannada flag

In 2009, then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa (now BS Yediyurappa) issued a circular enforcing restrictions on hoisting the Kannada flag on government buildings.

In 2012, the then CM D V Sadananda Gowda mentioned in his budget speech that it would be compulsory to hoist the state flag on government buildings, schools and colleges.

The move was challenged in high court. During the hearing, an HC division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen raised questions on the legality of states having their own flags when the law permitted only the national flag to be displayed officially. Subsequently, the state government decided to withdraw its circular on the eve of Rajyotsava in 2012.

Congress' stand

In March 2018, the government of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had unveiled the proposed official state flag for Karnataka and sent it to the central government for approval.

The 'Naada Dwaja' (state's flag) in hues of yellow, white and red, had the state's emblem 'Gandaberunda' or the two-headed mythological bird, at its centre. The then government said the separate flag for Karnataka was recommended by a committee formed by the state government in 2017, discounting any constitutional or legal hurdles for it.

The Centre put the proposal on hold in May, citing the election code of conduct which had come into force due to the state Assembly polls.

Latest development

The BS Yediyurappa government, after coming to power in 2019, indicated on August 29 it would not pursue with the Centre, the previous Congress government's proposal for a separate state flag that was pending before it.

"Already it is clear in the flag code that having a cultural flag is different, having a constitutional flag is different. Tricolor is the only constitutional flag. There was no opposition for having a cultural flag, but constitutionally there is only one flag for the country and that is the Tricolor," Minister for Kannada and Culture CT Ravi had said in response to a question.
First Published on Nov 1, 2019 12:27 pm
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