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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the glory of Indian National Flag ~ the sole manufacturer KKGSS

15th August - A great day for the Nation ~ “Independence Day” is around the corner and it is duty of every Indian to celebrate the day by hoisting our National flag in their houses, in Streets, Schools, Offices  and in many other places.

The National flag of India was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 22 July 1947, when it became the official flag of the Dominion of India. The  term "tricolour" always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya. The flag, by law, is to be made of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth of cotton or silk made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The manufacturing process and specifications for the flag are laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The original code prohibited use of the flag by private citizens except on national days such as the Independence day and the Republic Day. In 2002, on hearing an appeal from  Naveen Jindal, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet of India amended the code to allow limited usage.

Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS) is a manufacturing federation located in the Bengeri area of the city of Hubli in the Karnataka, state of India. It is the only unit in India that is authorised to manufacture and supply the Flag of India.  KKGSS was founded on November 1, 1957 by a group consisting of H. A. Pai, Anant Bhat, Jayadev Rao Kulkarni, B. J. Gokhale, Vasudev Rao and B. H. Inamdar who wanted to create a federation to cater to the need and growth of khadi and other village industries.  The main product manufactured by KKGSS is the Indian flag. Apart from this, it also manufactures clothes, carpets, bags, caps and bed-sheets made of khadi, soaps, handmade paper and processed honey.

There are 100 specialist spinners and 100 weavers employed in making the flag. The flag is manufactured conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The cloth needed for the flag is sourced from KKGSS's unit in Bagalkot and divided into three lots, each of the lots to be dyed with one of the three major colors in the Indian flag. After dyeing, the cloth is cut in the required size and shape and the blue chakra (wheel) with 24 equally spaced spokes is printed on the white cloth. Finally, the three pieces are stitched together to make the Indian flag.  Some of the critical confirmation criteria include that the width and length of the entire flag should be in the ratio 2:3 and that the chakra needs to be printed on both the sides of the flag with both of these prints perfectly matched, like two hands joined palm to palm.

The history of ‘Khadi’  is closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi coming to know about the ‘Charakha’ for the first time in 1908 when he was in London as the head of a delegation from South Africa. He decided then and there the course he was to take and the goal he was to pursue in his future life --devoting himself to the service of India and freeing it from the shackles of British rule. In his battle for freedom, ‘Charakha’ and ‘Khadi’ were to be the wheels of his chariot and ‘truth’ and ‘non-violence’ his weapons. Sadly,  after having played its due role during independence movement, Khadi gradually receded to background, perhaps, owing to the failure of the people and the governments that followed to realise its significant role in the country’s economy. Now read this news item that appeared in The Hindu. [12th Aug 2013 -]

The Indian tricolour may have lost its indigenous connection with the ‘desi’ cotton variety, with the use of Bt cotton — a proprietary technology of an American seed company. Jayadhar, a popular variety of cotton grown in Karnataka that was also earlier used in making flags, has been replaced by Bt cotton. The report states that flag-making units at Bengeri in Hubli city and Garaga in Dharwad district, which meet the nationwide demand for the tricolour, have been using wholly or partly the khadi derived from Bt cotton.

“Quality of cotton is determined by length, strength and appearance, and Bt cotton provides all these qualities. The national flag needs to be stronger. We mainly process Bt cotton and buy other varieties if they are available,” an official at the Central Sliver Plant in Chitradurga said. The staple in indigenous varieties is shorter than Bt cotton, the official explained on the choice of cotton.

At the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha at Bengeri where flag making started in 2008, the tricolour is manufactured using khadi made out of a combination of Jayadhar and Bt cotton. “To make the flag stronger, we mix Bt cotton with Jayadhar in a ratio of 25:75,” sangha secretary H.N. Antin said. Machinery is not used in the entire flag-making process, he added.

Indian flag in Organic cotton – courtesy The Hindu

“It is unfortunate that the cotton developed by an American company is being used to make the Indian flag” — a symbol of pride for the countrymen — when there are many indigenous cotton varieties that were earlier used for flag making,” said Krishnaprasad of Sahaja Samruddha, which is trying to revive local cotton varieties. GM Free India activists have urged the Prime Minister to hoist the flag made from organic cotton this Independence Day. 
Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi ~

Mother and motherland are superior to Heaven."

Saluting our "Maha Bharat" ::Vandhe Matharam ~ Jai Hindusthan ~ Jai Jawan ~ Jai Kisan ~

 ever in the feet of Bharat Matha…

With reverence to holy motherland – S. Sampathkumar

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