Karnataka Rajyotsava or Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated on 1 November of every year to commemorate November 1, 1956, which marks the day when all the Kannada speaking regions of South India merged to form the state of Karnataka. The festival is observed as a public holiday by the government. The festival is celebrated by Kannadigas all across the world as it is a day that celebrates the shared sentiments of the state as a whole.
In the year 1950, India became a republic and different provinces were formed based on the languages spoken in the particular regions. On 1 November 1956, the Karnataka Ekikarana movement was initiated by Aluru Venkata Rao back in 1905 and culminated with the Mysore state, comprising most of the area of the former princely state of Mysore, was merged with the Kannada-speaking areas of the Bombay and Madras presidencies, as also of the principality of Hyderabad, to create a unified Kannada-speaking sub national entity. North Karnataka, Malnad (Canara) and old Mysore were thus the three regions of the newly formed Mysore state. On 1 November 1973, the name of the state was changed to “Karnataka” as the name Mysore was a reminder of the British rule. Devaraj Arasu was the Chief Minister of the state at the time.
This is a festival which is celebrated with great grandeur all over the state. On this day, the red and yellow Karnataka flag is hoisted at strategic places across the state and the state anthem ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’ is sung which marks the most important part of the celebration. On this day, the state government asserts Rajyotsava awards, which are awarded to people responsible for great contributions in the development of Karnataka.The Rajyotsava awards are handed to people in fields ranging from literature, sculpture, painting, folk art, theatre, music, sports, yoga, films, television, Yakshagana, Bayalata, education, journalism, social service, agriculture, environment, medicine, to judiciary.