Will Congress government add another strip of colour to Kannada flag to avoid legal trouble?
- The Red and Yellow flag is associated with Kannada, and the State government is adamant over making it the official state flag
- But Kannada Paksha, a political party has claimed rights over the flag as it has registered the flag with the Election Commission
- The Kannada Paksha has threatened to sue the Congress government if it goes ahead with its plan of giving the flag a legal status
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's grand plans to accord official Karnataka State flag status to the Red and Yellow flag - that is associated with Kannada - has run into rough weather, yet again. For, the flag is a registered entity of a political party - Kannada Paksha. Hence, it leaves no option but for the State government to either redesign the flag or in all probabilities, add colour to the existing flag.
In fact, the Kannada Paksha holds rights over the yellow and red flag, and it has threatened to sue the State government, if it goes ahead with its plan of according official status to the flag, reports The Times of India.
The yellow and red flag that is identified with Kannada was conceptualised and designed by Ma Ramamurthy, son of freedom fighter and litterateur Veerakesari Seetharama Shastri in 1965.
Concerned over the Kannadigas being sidelined in their own land by migrant workers, Ramamurthy formed the Karnataka Samyukta Ranga (Karnataka United Front) to unite all Kannada organisations. This also necessitated a flag to identify their cause and thus came into being the Red and Yellow flag, after much deliberations and suggestions. Later, Ramamurthy formed a political party - Kannada Paksha and used the yellow and red flag as the party's flag. Although the Kannada Paksha suffered many highs and lows, the flag continued to be associated with Kannada and Karnataka, although it was not official.
But now, the Kannada Paksha State president P Purushotham told The Times of India that if the State government is adamant over making it the official flag, he will wage a legal battle against the state government. Kannada Paksha was officially registered with the Election Commission in 1991.
Following a series of protests by pro-Kannada organisations against the alleged imposition of Hindi in State, the Congress government mooted the idea of having a separate flag for the state. It triggered a series of debate on whether the State can have a separate flag. It was reported that the Constitution of India does not prohibit a state from having its flag as long as it does not dishonour the tri-colour.
Later, it may be recalled here that Siddaramaiah set up a nine-member panel to study on having a separate flag for the State.
However, with Kannada Paksha threatening to sue, it is reported that the committee may redesign the flag may be by adding third colour but keeping the yellow and red intact. It is being speculated that a strip of green may be added to the flag.
The committee which is meeting for the first time on November 9 may put forth these suggestions, it is reported.