HUBBALLI: The struggling khadi industry is facing a bleak future, thanks to a move made by the Union government. A few months ago, the Union government announced that all the residents in India should sport tricolours on Independence Day, August 15 under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ programme. In a bid to get large number of flags on the I-Day, the Union government brought an amendment to the flag code and also allowed flags made of polyester to be hoisted - not khadi.
The order has hit the Khandi national flagmaking unit in Hubballi even as it was expecting a surge in flag orders this year. However, the orders this year have dwindled when compared to last year. In July 2021, the only BIS certified khadi national flag making unit in Bengeri of Hubballi had received close to 90 lakh orders of national flags of different sizes.
This year, the current orders hover around just 14 lakh. The union ministry’s action has hit the regular business of khadi flags as well. The Karnataka Khadi Gramodyog Samyukta Sangh of Hubballi has now sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and a delegation met Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in Hubballi recently.
Joshi has assured the Sangh that he will take up the matter with the union ministry but there has been no positive response. Besides Sangh, several khadi loving institutes and individuals across Karnataka are penning letters to the Union government to ensure more khadi flags are used in the celebrations. The central government’s programme aims to see 26 crore residences in India, government offices, education institutions and private entities to have tri colour for a week long celebrations.