Republic Day 2022: Every year, we unfurl our National Flag on August 15 and January 26. On Wednesday India celebrates its 73rd Republic Day. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations have been subdued.
Now, the question is what do we know about the man who designed the tricolour?
Pingali Venkayya was an Indian freedom fighter who also happened to be the architect behind the design of the Indian national flag.
Pingali Venkayya was born into a Telugu Brahmin family on August 2, 1876 in Bhatlapenumarru, Madras Presidency, British India (Today’s Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh).
He was educated at Cambridge and learnt many subjects like geology, agriculture, education and languages.
In 1913, he gave a full length speech in Japanese in Bapatla which made him “Japan Venkayya”. He was also called as Patti Venkaya, because he was interested in researching cotton.
Pingali Venkayya was a Gandhian ideologist and met Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa during the second Boer War. In 1916, he had published a book with thirty possible designs that could be made into the Indian flag. The booklet, titled “A National Flag for India” described flags of different countries and also gave his ideas towards the Indian National Flag.
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Pingali Venkayya had designed a flag, known as the Swaraj Flag which consisted of red and green bands. But Gandhiji wanted Venkayya to incorporate a charkha or spinning wheel at its centre. He also expressed his wish that the National flag should be in three colours- red to represent Hindus, green for Muslims and white for other faiths. The flag was approved by the Congress and gradually inculcated in protests against British rule in August 1931.
According to a write up titled ‘Truths About The Tricolour’written by Ramachandra Guha and was published in The Hindu on September 26, 2004 – A flag committee of the Congress made some changes to this tricolour in 1931. They replaced red with saffron and changed the order of the colours, as we see it now.