Siddaramaiah Stirs Emotive Waters, Moves for Kannada Flag Before Assembly Polls

20 July, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Karnataka set to have own state flag committee looks into legal sanctity

The panel has been tasked to look into the legal aspects of a state flag. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the Karnataka government's move was "against the nation's integrity", and sought imposition of President's rule in the state.

If Karnataka eventually decides to have a separate flag for it, it would be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under the Article 370 of the Constitution. The Kannada and Culture Department of the state government on June 6 had notified the setting up of a nine-member committee to examine the feasibility and legal issues around the demand.

And earlier this week, India's federal government again insisted that there was no provision in the constitution for a separate flag for any state. Although it has not been accorded an official state flag status, it is no less than that. The then BJP government in 2012 had opposed the demands of declaring the red-and-yellow flag as official state flag.

Former advocate-general of Karnataka, Ravivarma Kumar, told The Hinduthat in SR Bommai vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court had declared that federalism is a basic feature of the Constitution and States are supreme in their sphere.

The move has come amid state-wide protests by pro-Kannada activists who have accused the BJP-led central government of imposing Hindi in the state.

He dared the BJP leaders to make a public statement that the party is not in favour of a flag for Karnataka.

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Only Jammu and Kashmir has a flag of its own and there is no desire for a flag in another state.

Asserting that a separate flag for Karnataka will neither be anti-national nor an embarrassment to the Tricolour, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday reiteriated that there is legally no hindrance to the state having its own flag. The party is embarrassed by how the opposition has used the move to turn the tables on it.

Dr Sandeep Shastri, political analyst and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Bangalore's Jain University, says countries like the Unites States, Germany, Australia and Myanmar (Burma) allow different regions to have a different regional flag to show their distinct identity.

"Having a flag of our own is certainly not against nationalism or integrity".

Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Constitutional expert Pavani Parameswara Rao expressed that Karnataka can have its own flag as there is no restriction in the Indian Constitution. "I have faith in the federal system of the country".

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