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Pingali Venkayya: Remembering the man responsible for our National Flag

A tribute to Pingali Venkayya on his birth anniversary, a humble man belonging a small village in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Venkayya first conceived the idea of a national flag on 31st  March 1921 at an Indian National Congress conference
  • A postage stamp was issued to commemorate him in 2009
  • In January 2015, a statute was dedicated to him by M. Venkaiah Naidu, was put forth in the fore lawns of the All India Radio (AIR) building in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

August 2, 2017: Pingali Venkayya was an Indian freedom fighter and the man who designed the flag on which Indian national flag is based. He was born on 2 August 1876 in Bhatlapenumarru village near Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. He was a language enthusiast, knew multiple languages like Japanese and Urdu, had a doctorate in Geology, fond of history and also established an institute in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh.  His village Bhatlapenumarru did not even have a statue of him till 1998.

Venkayya joined the British Indian Army at the tender age of 19 and also took part in the Anglo-Boer war in Africa. It was during this war that Venkayya met Mahatma Gandhi and formed a bond that lasted for more than 50 years.

Venkayya first conceived the idea of a national flag on 31st  March 1921 at an Indian National Congress conference. His version of the flag comprised of two colors- saffron and green to which Mahatma Gandhi added the white stripe. Lala Hansraj, Arya Samaj movement founder added the Dharm Chakra ( wheel of law) to it. Thus the present tricolor flag we see today was adopted on on July 22, 1947.

Pingali Venkayya: The unsung hero who designed India’s National Flag

Venkayya died with poverty on 4 July 1963 in Vijayawada. A postage stamp was issued to commemorate him in 2009. His name was proposed for Bharat Ratna in 2011 but In 2014 the award was instead given to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and scientist C.N.R. Rao. Venkayya’s contributions were sidelined by the Indian government.  In January 2015, a statute was dedicated to him by M. Venkaiah Naidu, was put forth in the fore lawns of the All India Radio (AIR) building in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

On his 141st Birth Anniversary, Twitterati remembered him:

– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08.

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