Karnataka Rakshana Vedike has called for a social media protest starting 5pm on Monday using #ನಮ್ಮಧ್ವಜ_ನಮ್ಮಹೆಮ್ಮೆ(Our flag, our pride) and will stage protests in all districts as well.

Karnataka Rajyotsava being celebrated with the tri-colour being hoisted on November 1, 2020
news Controversy Monday, November 02, 2020 - 17:19

A day after Karnataka celebrated the state formation day, Karnataka Rajyotsava, pro-Kannada activists have raised questions over why the state’s unofficial flag was not hoisted in most district headquarters where events were held to mark the day. Calling this an insult to the sentiments of all Kannadigas, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada organisation has given a clarion call for an online protest starting 5pm on Monday. Additionally, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike has also said their activists will stage protests in all 30 districts on Tuesday. 

On November 1, except in Bengaluru and Mysuru, where both the national flag and state flag were hoisted at the government functions, in other districts, only the national tricolour was hoisted. While Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa presided over the function in Bengaluru where the Karnataka flag was hoisted, the other districts did not follow suit. Activists are alleging that this is an emerging pattern where attempts are being made to impose a homogenous language and culture in the country. 

Speaking to TNM, President of  Karnataka Rakshana Vedike(KRV), Narayana Gowda said, “Since BJP came to power this time, there is contempt against hoisting the Karnataka flag. We suspect that this is being done with instructions from the Sangh Parivar. Because this is the first time since inception of Karnataka that on Rajyotsava, in government offices, Karnataka flag is not being hoisted. This is an insult to Kannada pride. Their intention is to damage our identity. Starting tomorrow, our activists will stage demonstrations in all 30 districts against respective district-in-charge ministers and also lay siege to the District Collector’s office as well.”

Only the national flag was hoisted in most districts across Karnataka

Using the hashtag #ನಮ್ಮಧ್ವಜ_ನಮ್ಮಹೆಮ್ಮೆ(Our flag, our pride), KRV has called for a Twitter campaign to register their protest online as well. Arun Javagal, member of KRV told TNM, “All Kannadigas carry a certain emotional connect, pride with the red & yellow flag. States in federal countries having their own flags is a common practice.” He further alleged that anti-federal forces who believe in one nation one language one flag opposed furling of the Kannada flag.

Sources in the Karnataka government told TNM that while the Chief Minister did not issue any circular or instructions to not hoist the Karnataka flag, after Siddaramaiah government’s proposal to award official status to a version of the Kannada flag in 2018, the BJP and its affiliate organisations have told the state leaders to stay away from endorsing the state flag on public platforms. 

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