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

The first name was given to him for his expertise in diamond mining and the second for his interest in cotton research

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Pingali Venkayya statue. Image source: ourrajahmundry.com

We all know about freedom fighters who fought with their lives to bring freedom to their mother India. Therefore every time we hoist our Flag, we feel so proud of ourselves as an Indian. But, only a handful of people is aware of the person who designed our Tricolour Flag. Pingali Venkayya one of India’s unsung heroes, who painted India’s flag in three beautiful colours-Saffron, white and Green that portrays the canvas of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, and renunciation.

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  • Born in Andhra Pradesh on August 2nd, 1876, he joined the British Army when he was just 19 years old. He completed his primary education at the Hindu school in Challapalli but went to Colombo for his Senior Cambridge examinations. He also learnt Japanese, Urdu and History at the Anglo Vedic College in Lahore.

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  • A multilingual with a doctorate in Geology, he was known by two names, Diamond Venkaya and Cotton Venkayya. The first name was given to him for his expertise in diamond mining and the second for his interest in cotton research. An interest so strong that he came up with a study on a special variety called ‘Cambodia Cotton’.
  • The Indian flag wasn’t something he imagined one fine night in his dreams. He actually spent 5 years, from 1916 to 121, doing a detailed research on national flags of 30 countries.Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

    Stamp. Image source: jantarocks.wordpress.com
    Stamp. Image source: jantarocks.wordpress.com
  • Pingali Venkayya, an educationist and the son of Shri Hanumantharayudu and Smt. Venkataratnamma established an institute in his hometown, Machilipatam in Andra Pradesh.
  • Honours: A postage stamp has been issued in his name and just recently his daughter starting receiving a sum of money in the form of pension. A statue has also been set up at the All India Radio building in Vijayawada. Adding to that, on 2011 his name was proposed for Bharat Ratna.
  • Lesser-known fact: He worked as a railway guard before he went on the path to being a contributor to India’s history.
    The different versions of the Indian flag throughout History.
    The different versions of the Indian flag throughout History.

     

  • India achieved Independence on August 15th, 1947 but the flag designed by Venkayya was adopted on July 22nd
  • Even after all the above being true, even after his historic contribution to India, Venkayya lived in poverty all his life. He passed away on July 4, 1963, in a hut in Vijaywada. Today, he’s forgotten by the society.

-by Karishma Vanjani, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @BladesnBoots

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  • AJ Krish

    The flag not only represents the country but the feelings and aspirations of the people too. And giving a form to a nation and its people is crucial to the national movement.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This is really a great piece of information. There are hardly people who know about Pingali Venkayya

Next Story

As The Election Nears, India’s Opposition Promises Several Economic Steps

Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a "desperate alliance," while the BJP would give a "strong government."

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Rahul Gandhi, Election
Rahul Gandhi, president of India's main opposition Congress Party, speaks at a rally ahead of October's 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

India’s main opposition Congress Party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and make “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday.

Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third-largest economy.

But its chaotic implementation and complexities — months after a shock ban by Modi on high-value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth — badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi’s re-election chances.

India,India, elections, BJP
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents in New Delhi, India. VOA

 

Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India because of the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST.”

Quick growth promised

“We will take some rational economic decisions,” he told a press conference, which was broadcast live on Twitter. “We will restructure the GST and we will embrace investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world. We are the party of [India’s economic] liberalization; we are the party that gave the fastest economic growth in the first decade of the century, and will do that again.”

He said his main priority would be to create jobs, simplify the GST, rebuild confidence in institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India — whose governor resigned recently after a fight over autonomy with the government, and the Supreme Court.

Modi, election
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

 

Four Supreme Court judges held a rare press conference early last year, saying that “unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”

Modi told a BJP convention in New Delhi on Saturday that for Congress “every institution was wrong and only they were right.”

The Congress press conference was organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, which is present in about 35 countries, as Gandhi tries to reach out to rich Indians living abroad for funds and social media support for the party that has dominated the country’s politics for decades before being nearly decimated in the last general election in 2014 by Modi.

But back home, Gandhi received a jolt when bitter rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), announced an election tie-up without Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament.

Narendra Modi, India, election
Elaborate preparations for PM’s election rally. VOA

“The BSP and SP have made a political decision,” Gandhi said. “It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity. Whether we do or their alliance does, the BJP is not winning there.”

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Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a “desperate alliance,” while the BJP would give a “strong government.”

The Hindu nationalist BJP lost power in three key states recently, forcing the government to announce a flurry of measures to woo small businesses and the less well-off since then. (VOA)