Remembering Pingali Venkayya, the architect of India’s national flag | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Remembering Pingali Venkayya, the architect of India’s national flag

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Pingali Venkayya

Pingali Venkayya: On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Pingali Venkayya, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and other members of the Union Cabinet paid homage to him.

Key Highlights:

  • The year 2021 marked the 145th anniversary of Pingali Venkayya.
  • Pingali Venkayya was the architect behind the design of the Indian national flag.
  • Pingali Venkaiah, who was from the Krishna district, designed the National Flag and presented it to Mahatma Gandhi during the latter’s visit to Vijayawada city on April 1, 1921.
  • The Present-day national flag of India inspired by the design of Pingali Venkayya gave a unique identity to India by means of a national flag.

Significance of national flag:

  • Any country is identified and distinguished by its unique flag, emblem, and anthem.
  • The flag is a symbolic expression of how any country sees and identifies itself.
  • India’s national flag ‘Tiranga’ represents its values and thoughts.
  • It has a unique meaning that defines what the country believes and strives for
  • Saffron colour on top symbolizes strength & courage,
  • The white colour in middle represents peace & truth.
  • The green colour at the bottom symbolizes fertility, growth & auspiciousness of the land.
  • 24 spokes of the Ashok Chakra symbolises that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.

About Pingali Venkayya:

  • Pingali Venkayya (2 August 1876 – 4 July 1963) was an Indian freedom fighter.
  • He was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi and the designer of the flag on which the Indian national flag was based.
  • The flag he designed was called as Swaraj Flag.
  • He was born at Bhatlapenumarru, near Machilipatnam, in what is now the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • He was an authority in geology, agriculture and also an educationist who set up an educational institution in Machilipatnam.
  • He, however, died in poverty in 1963 and was largely forgotten by the society.”

Recognition:

  • Pingali Venkayya was posthumously honored with a postage stamp in 2009 for his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle. In 2014, his name was also proposed for the Bharat Ratna.
  • In 2015, the then Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu had renamed the AIR Vijaywada after Venkayya and unveiled his statue on its premises.
  • Further, the Andhra Pradesh Government has also requested the Centre to confer the highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna, to Pingali in recognition of his contribution to the nation.
  • Jateeya Pataka Rupasilpi Pingali Venkayya’ by Venna Vallabharao, ‘Pingali Venkayya’ by Apoorv Shrivastava are a few of the books written on the late freedom fighter.
  • Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu had once said that Venkayya was the unsung hero of our freedom struggle who made an immense contribution. He devoted his entire life to the nation and worked relentlessly to make India a free country.
  • The decision by the Centre is yet to be taken on the proposal.

Additional Info:

Little known facts:

  • Pingali Venkayya was an avid flag enthusiast who also came up with a booklet titled ‘A National Flag for India’ in 1916, wherein he had presented twenty-four flag designs.
  • He met Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) when he was posted there as part of the British Indian Army.

About Pingali Venkayya’s design:

  • Pingali Venkayya’s designed flag known as the Swaraj Flag consisted of red and green bands to symbolize the two major communities in the country- Hindus and Muslims.
  • His design had given an identity to India and its people.
  • Back in the days of freedom struggle, the flag helped in uniting and giving rise to the spirit of independence.
  • On the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, he added a white band over red over green with a charkha design onto Khadi bunting.
  • The white represented peace and the rest of the communities living in India, and the spinning wheel symbolized the progress of the country. Though the first tricolor was not officially accepted by the All India Congress Committee (AICC), it began to be hoisted on all Congress occasions.
  • Gandhiji’s approval had made it sufficiently popular and it was in use till 1931.
  • The flag, however, had raised communal concerns after which a Flag Committee was set up in 1931.
  • The Congress Working Committee (CWC) came up with a new tricolor which was called the Purna Swaraj.
  • The flag replaced the red color with saffron, the white band was shifted in the middle, from over white over green emblazoned with a blue charkha in the centre.

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