July 21, 2017
Bengaluru: The recent row over Hindi signboards in Metro stations in Bangalore was just a trailer of the insecurities that engulfs the state. Now, the demand for a separate flag is perhaps also a result of the insecurities. Even though the BJP led government is trying hard to drive the one nation mantra, the Congress led government in Karnataka has submitted a report on giving the state flag the legal sanctity. If this really goes through, then Karnataka will only be the second state in the country to officially have a flag of its own after Jammu & Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. But how much of this hullabaloo really affects the common people of Karnataka? Does a separate flag interest them?
“We have been reading about this in the paper. But I believe that a Kannada flag will go against the unity and integrity of the nation. I stand by what the ex Kannada culture minister Govind M Karjol said against a separate flag,’Our national flag is the symbol of integrity and sovereignty of our nation. If states have their separate flags, it could diminish the importance of the national flag. Besides, there are possibilities of it leading to narrow minded regional feelings,’ ” says Sayantan Das, IT professional who has lived in all metros and is now a resident of Bangalore. He adds, “If this demand sees a positive light, then most states would demand a separate flag and it would only divide us,and not unite us.”
Talking along the same lines, Shwetha Mahadi, NXP employee says, “I am not in favour of separate flag. I am an Indian first,and I don’t want to be a part of the political drama. Political class just uses us.” Similarly, Savitha Venkat, IT professional says, “I am neither for or against a separate flag. But I am more concerned about the existing problems of the state,and how they are managing the same. How does a symbolic identity with a flag help?”
Differing from the above, Sujatha Nagraj of IBM believes that a separate flag signifies unity, positivity and demonstrates the liveliness, diversity and versatility of the state. “The state is in logger heads with its neighbouring states, this flag is a sign of unity within.”
Finding humour in this, Julee M, a housewife and a mother of a toddler says, “For common man, this really isn’t an issue. We are happy to bow down to one flag, our national flag. Imagine if all the states start demanding the same, my poor child will have to learn that much more for her general knowledge test.”