Every year, on the 15th of August, the Chief Ministers of States in India hoist the Indian flag to show their respect. But, did you know that before 1973, CMs were not entitled to hoist the tri-colour flag, either on Republic Day or Independence Day? Up until 1973, only the Governers had the right to hoist the Indian flag on Republic Day and Independence Day as they were considered as representatives of the Centre in state capitals. In fact, India’s President and Prime Minister could only hoist the flag on January 26th and August 15th, respectively.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, is the reason why CMs can now hoist flags on both the occasion. Karunanidhi found this practice really discriminatory and against the foundation of the nation. He is known to have compared the stature of Governers to that of the beard of goats, which in no way was of any value add. His infamous line – “Attukku thaadiyum nattukku governerum thevai illai” – perfectly described his displeasure against the power Governors were given. So, he took up the issue by writing a letter to the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, demanding a change in the flag hoisting protocol to include Chief Ministers of various States to take up the duty. The Indira Gandhi government acceded to the demand.
And, that is how, since August 1975, Chief Ministers across all States were given the right to hoist the Indian flag on Republic Day and Independence Day.
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In other news, for the second time in Kerala’s history, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan, couldn’t hoist the Indian flag on Independence Day. He is under self-quarantine as the 23 officials who assisted and interacted with him at the Karipur Plane crash in Malappuram tested COVID positive. In his absence, Kadakampally Surendran, Kerala’s Tourism Minister, hoisted the flag and delivered the Independence Day address in Thiruvananthapuram. In case you’re wondering about the first time when Kerala’s CM couldn’t hoist the flag, it was during 1992 when the then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran couldn’t do so due to illness.