Indian student unfurled Karnataka state flag during convocation ceremony in London University. But WHY?

An Indian student from City University of London unfurled the Karnataka flag during the convocation while receiving his degree. The video of him displaying the state flag on state has since then gone viral on the internet.

Identified as Adish R Wali, an MS Management graduate from the university shared a video of him getting the degree. “I graduated with an MS in Management from City University of London – Bayes Business School (class). A moment of pride as I unfurled our Karnataka state flag during the ceremony in London, UK,” Wali wrote.

The video gained a lot of traction on social media as many users lauded Adish on his graduation and also for appreciating his efforts towards his state. Let’s look at the reason why Karnataka needs a separate state flag.

Formation of Karnataka

Before November 1, 1956 Kannada speaking regions were under various powers like Mysore state, Madras state, Hyderabad state, Bombay state etc. However, Kannadigas were demanding a single state for Kannada speaking people.

After years of struggle, the central government declared a United Kannada speaking state (Mysore state) on November 1, 1956. However, Mysore was renamed Karnataka on November 1st 1973.

Why Karnataka has a separate flag?

To celebrate the formation of a separate Kanadda speaking state i.e., Karnataka, the state issued its own flag from the 1960s onwards. It’s a bio-colour flag with yellow on top and red on bottom.

It esembles arishina(haldi) and kunkuma which are considered pious and holy in Hindu religion. This flag is an unofficial flag.

Legality of the flag?

In 2017, then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah constituted a panel of nine experts to ‘study the legality and judicial implications of the formal adoption of a flag for the state.’

The panel was chaired by GS Siddaramaya, Principal Secretary of the Department of Kannada and Culture and other members included scholars, historians and writers.

Where it stands today?

In August 2019, the Yediyurappa government formally decided to drop the proposal of separate flag. Kannada and Culture Minister CT Ravi admitted that the there is only one constitution and one constitutional flag across India. “There may be cultural flags. Karnataka also has a cultural flag. But we are one nation, so we will think about unity,” Mr. Ravi said.  

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