Committee formed to check possibility of designing separate flag for Karnataka

Jul 20, 2017, 00:49
Committee formed to check possibility of designing separate flag for Karnataka

The 9-member committee will submit its report on giving the state flag identity a legal sanctity. The BJP, which is the Opposition in the state, has accused the CM of playing party politics, especially in anticipation of the 2018 assembly elections.

He had also dared BJP to make a statement opposing the separate state flag. The BJP government in Karnataka then had told the High Court of Karnataka that a state flag would be against the unity and integrity of the nation. The panel will be headed by the principal secretary of the Department of Kannada and Culture and will comprise bureaucrats and academics, India Today reported.

The Karnataka government, which is under fire for considering a flag for the state, on Wednesday said the issue of whether a state could have its own flag was a "grey area" as there was no mention of it in any of the Acts in the country. "We have constituted a committee to look at the issues in the creation of a state flag".

The seasoned politician also commented that the state anthem also was under the same predicament without any official status.

Congress leader Priyank Kharge tweeted a part of the judgement in the 1994 Bommai vs SC and said that there is nothing "unconstitutional" about the state having its own flag. The red and yellow flag was created by Kannada writer and activist Ma Ramamurthy for a pro-Kannada political party called the Kannada Paksha, after he observed that many parties representing non-Kannadigas had flags of their own. "The flag controversy provided ammunition to the BJP, just when we were going after them on issues such as lynching by cow vigilantes", said a senior Congress leader.

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A final decision will be taken only after committee files its report, he said. Currently, Jammu and Kashmir, which has special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, is the only state in the country that has the permission to have its own flag.

With less than a year to go for the assembly elections in the state, the announcement is being seen by some as Siddharamaiah's attempt to assert Kannada identity, riding on the ongoing wave of anti-Hindi protests.

"By having a regional flag, no disrespect is being shown to the national flag". Whatever the legal position, however, a State flag would undermine the spirit of national unity and must be eschewed.

Meanwhile, the BJP said that Siddharamaiah's move was anti-national. Later, in 2012, Chief Minister SV Sadananda Gowda made it mandatory for government offices, schools and colleges to hoist the Kannada flag on November 1, which is celebrated as the formation day of the state.