A mega national flag measuring 75x50 feet hand-painted by 75 students of the fashion technology department of Sona College of Technology and Textile Technology, Department of Thiagarajar Polytechnic Salem, over 14 days was hosted by Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration, Urban and Water Supply KN Nehru at Salem this morning.
Created using 400 metres of cloth, the flag was hoisted amid the singing of the national anthem by the NCC and NSS team of 150 young men and women drawn from Sona College of Technology, Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, Sona School of Management, and Sona College of Arts and Science and faculty and invited guests, a release from the institute, said. The flag now covers half of the front facade of the 10-story high Sri Valliappa Building.
The attendees at the event included Salem MP SR Parthiban, Salem MLA R Rajendran, and C Valliappa, Chairman, Sona Group of Education Institutions. C Valliappa exhorted the students to celebrate the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ by creating new technologies and products that will give a new thrust to the ‘Make in India’ movement.
Incidentally, C Valliappa was the only attendee at the event born in undivided India, then a British colony. Speaking to students, Chocko Valliappa, Vice-Chairman, Sona College of Technology, recounted how his great grandfather was engaged with India’s freedom movement. Valliappa shared that it was at (his great grandfather and) the founder of The Sona Group Kalaithanthai Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar’s house in Madurai that Gandhiji emerged wearing the loin cloth for the first time in public.
The reason for the change is well-known — he had been advocating the use of indigenously spun and produced Khadi to liberate India from colonial rule. However, during his journey to Madurai, he understood that for common folk even wearing any sort of clothes was a luxury as the poorest could not afford it.
His reasoning was if he had to lead India he had to “feel like one to think like one and to be like one. “Interestingly, it was just then that our founder, Gandhi’s host, was starting his journey towards becoming a textile magnate,” added Valliappa.
The principals of Sona Institutions, including Thiagarajar Polytechnic Dr V Karthikeyan, Sona College of Technology; Dr SRR Senthilkumar; and Sona College of Arts and Science Dr GM Kadhar Nawaz, attended the event with their faculty and students.