Hyderabad, January 25: The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have led to a boom in the sales of the Tricolour. Dealers said that sales have nearly quadrupled compared to last year.
Mr Karunakar Reddy, a whol-esaler from Chikka-dpally, said sales have been non-stop since November, when the protests began. Orders were placed in the hundreds by protesters. Sales are usually concentrated around Republic Day and Independence Day, but not this time.
“For Republic Day, flags would normally be made by December and distributed across all channels by the second week of January,” he said. “But manufacturing and sales are ongoing since November. People are placing orders and collecting them within a day or two.”
He added that retailers were earlier cautious about placing orders as leftover stock wouldn’t get sold for months. “This year, the possibility of leftover hasn’t risen yet,” he said. Reddy sold four times more flags this season than in previous years.
It is learnt that Hydera-bad, along with Surat, is a major production centre of flags. Zubair, a wholesaler from Koti, said, “The manufacturing happens here. From here it goes to Delhi and other centres for distribution. And, business is booming due to demand from all over the country.”
So if a protestor at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, is waving a Tricolour, chances are it was made in Hyderabad.
Zubair added that most flags are cloth and not plastic, as was the case a few years ago. “The government has gotten strict about the usage of plastic,” he said.
“Even customers want eco-friendly options. A vast majority in the market are cloth.”
The protests have also resulted in a demand for the Tricolour from political parties.
A distributor from Abids said political parties have started placing orders for Indian flags along with party paraphernalia. This happened during the municipal polls’ campaign.
“Earlier, before a rally or election campaign, political parties only used to place orders for party flags, stoles and so on,” he said. “Now, they are adding flags to the order. The only time I saw this before was during the BJP’s Gandhi Sankalp Yatra in October (to commemorate Gandhiji’s birth anniversary).”