Who is Adhish Wali? Meet the 23-year-old who unfurled the Karnataka flag at graduation in London

Adhish R Wali completed his postgraduation in management from the City University of London – Bayes Business School recently.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jan 24, 2023 | 3:29 PM Updated Jan 24, 2023 | 4:33 PM

Indian student Adish R Wali unfurling Karnataka flag during graduation ceremony held at London recently. (Screengrab)

A 23-year-old Indian student from one of the top business schools in London is gaining a lot of attention on the internet for unfurling the Karnataka flag during his graduation ceremony, which was held in London on 21 January.

Adhish R Wali completed his postgraduation in management from the City University of London — Bayes Business School, formerly Cass Business School.

He hails from the Bidar district of Karnataka.

A video of him displaying the Karnataka flag on the stage while receiving his degree has gone viral on social media.

He also received huge applause from the audience during the ceremony for this act.

A 25-second video of him receiving his graduation certificate was posted on Twitter by Adhish Wali.

The video went viral and was viewed nearly one million times on Twitter alone.

He tweeted: “I graduated with an MS in Management from City University of London — Bayes Business School (Cass). A moment of pride was when I unfurled our Karnataka state flag during the ceremony in London, United Kingdom.”

Thousands of people not only liked or retweeted the video but also congratulated him for successfully completing his degree. They also praised him for unfurling the Karnataka flag.

Even political veterans like Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah tweeted, saying it was a “proud moment” for all the Kannadigas.

Who is Adhish Wali?

He completed his schooling at Bidar town and intermediate at Christ Junior College in Bengaluru. He moved abroad for graduation and higher studies, said his family members.

Adhish Wali said he was inspired by the works of his grandfather Shivasharanappa Wali, who is a veteran journalist with Kalyana Karnataka.

Shivasharanappa told South First: “I never expected that my grandson would wave the Karnataka flag. I am surprised and proud of him. Though he is studying abroad, he retained affection and love for his motherland.”

“I always told him that wherever you go, be it America or London, never forget that you are Kannadiga and Indian. He always excelled in his studies and co-curricular activities. He made Karnataka proud by displaying his affection towards the motherland,” said proud grandfather Shivasharanappa, who was the first person to start a Kannada daily (Uttara Karnataka) in the Bidar district.

He added: “I always raised my voice against the people who made an attempt to suppress Kannada in my region. I had also been to prison during the Gokak agitation in the 1980s. I also named my daughter Kannadamma. He is inspired by my works towards protecting and fighting for Kannada in the region.”

Debate over ‘Kannada first, then India’   

Meanwhile, Adhish’s video also led to a war of words between the two groups. One group claimed that Karnataka was first, and then came India. The other group claimed it was the opposite.

Many netizens — mainly youngsters — argued over the matter.

One Rashmitha Vedamurthy tweeted: “He is an Indian because of the Karnataka region and because Kannadigas are part of India. He didn’t become a Kannadiga because a nation called India was formed in 1947. [sic]”

Another person named KMV tweeted: “Karnataka government was created by the Union government after India was created in 1947. The Government of India can remove a state or merge with another state or divide a state or change borders as per its wishes. Technically Karnataka as a State exists because GOI allowed it. [sic]”

“When you are getting immigration because you are an Indian and when you are called as an Indian student, would have appreciated that if he had unfurled the Indian flag because the country comes ahead of the state [sic],” wrote someone named Nishant, objecting to Adhish waving the Karnataka flag.

Author Arun Javgal, a resident of Bengaluru City, told South First: “I do support Karnataka first, because India is a Union of states. When India got independence, around 512 princely states were merged to form India. It was possible only because of the valiant efforts of the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.”

He added: “It is also important to note that not only Karnataka but also Mumbai (then Bombay), Hyderabad, and many other states existed even before India came into existence. India has different cultures, languages, and colours. However, I would say that Karnataka is as important as India. India is one and we are one.”