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Politics
24 Jul 2017

Now states can have their own flag, says Tharoor. Really?

States can have their own flags: Shashi Tharoor

With Karnataka opening a fresh debate on whether states could have their independent flags, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor recently said that as long as one observed a system of checks and balances it could be allowed.

Speaking at a press conference in Bengaluru, Tharoor said that state flag should, however, not substitute the national flag.

In context

States can have their own flags: Shashi Tharoor

Constitution does not prohibit separate state flags

Reportedly, the Constitution does not prohibit separate state flags but says it must fly at a lower height than national flag. J&K is the only Indian state with a separate flag while Nagaland is in the process of getting its own flag under article 371.

How did Tharoor come into picture?

Where it started?

How did Tharoor come into picture?

When Karnataka chief minister Siddaramiah raised the demand for a separate flag for the state, Congress had a tiff with the former.

Amid the controversy, Tharoor called for separate flag for states, even though the Congress has expressed reservations on the same issue.

Tharoor believes as long as rules are followed, there isn't any problem for the states to have independent flags.

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K'taka CM's stand

Constitution doesn't forbid a state to have its own flag

While both BJP and Congress stand on the same ground and have objected to the demand of separate flag for their state, Karnataka's CM Siddaramaiah refuted and said that Constitution does not prohibit the state from having its own flag.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah had also constituted a committee on the possibility of designing a separate flag for Karnataka.

Arguments on having a separate flag weigh 50-50

Debate

Arguments on having a separate flag weigh 50-50

Those who are criticizing the argument said it's an insult to India's unity while those in favour said it would reflect India's state federalism and create a sense of identity.

However, even now a few of the states have their own anthems.

For the unversed, Karnataka already has an unofficial state flag since 1960s.

Analysis

Do states really need their independent flags?

The question seems as pseudo as the debate surrounding it but the fact that pro-right Kannadiga groups feel the pressure of bowing-down to Hindi raises an important parley.

That said, the idea of national unity and identity doesn't seem to be in jeopardy as is being stated by BJP as well as the Congress.

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