On the 142nd birth anniversary of Pingali Venkayya, India fondly remembers the freedom fighter for more reasons than one. Venkayya was also the mastermind behind the design of India’s national flag.
Pingali Venkayya, born 142 years ago, was an Indian freedom fighter who also designed the national flag.
Venkayya was born near Machilipatnam (now in Andhra Pradesh), and followed the Gandhian ideologies. He was also a linguist, geologist and a writer. In fact, in 1913, he delivered a full-length speech in Japanese.
Such a feat earned him the titles like 'Japan Venkayya', 'Patti (cotton) Venkayya' and 'Jhanda Venkayya'.
It was during his stint with the British Army that the 19-year-old met Mahatma Gandhi in Africa. Venkayya's association with Mahatma Gandhi lasted over 50 years. He also published a book in 1916 offering thirty designs of what could make the Indian flag.
Throughout all Congress sessions between 1918 and 1921, he relentlessly put forward the idea of having a flag of our own. Venkayya's design for the National Flag was finally approved by Mahatma Gandhi in a Congress meeting in Vijayawada in 1921.
The flag had the saffron, white and green stripes with the spinning wheel placed in the white section.
It was hoisted on April 13, 1923 in Nagpur during an event commemorating the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It was named the Swaraj Flag and became the symbol of India’s demand for self-rule led by the Indian National Congress.
The resolution to adopt the tricolor as the National Flag of India was passed in 1931. On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Swaraj Flag as the National Flag of Sovereign India with the Ashok Chakra replacing the spinning wheel.
The Flag Code India (2002), Prevention of Improper Use of Emblems and Names Act (1950), and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act (1971) govern the display, representation and handling of the Indian National Flag.
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Last Updated Aug 2, 2019, 9:48 AM IST