Tributes poured in for Pingali Venkayya, the designer of the Indian national flag, on his birth anniversary on Monday.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said the nation is forever indebted to Venkayya for designing the flag.
“Nation is forever indebted to him (Pingali Venkayya) for giving rise to the spirit of Independence with his tricolour flag during the freedom struggle,” Harichandan added.
Likewise, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu hailed Venkayya for his creative genius and said the flag stood in support of India’s struggle for freedom.
Naidu said Venkayya was a symbol of Telugu people’s patriotism.
“My tributes to selfless Venkayya on the occasion of his birth anniversary,” he added.
According to Nara Lokesh, TDP leader and son of N. Chandrababu Naidu, Venkayya was also fondly referred to as ‘Japan Venkayya’, ‘Patti (cotton) Venkayya’ and ‘Diamond Venkayya’.
“These names were a testament to his multi-faceted personality. On his birth anniversary let us remember his services to the country in various realms,” Lokesh said.
Similarly, Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Somu Veerraju remembered Venkayya as a popular freedom fighter.
“My tributes to Telugu pride, Venkayya, on his birth anniversary as I reminiscence about him,” Veerraju said.
Earlier in March, current Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommending a Bharat Ratna to be awarded to Venkayya posthumously.
“Request your kind self to honour the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh by giving a deserving acknowledgement to the life and contribution of late Pingali Venkayya by conferring the Bharat Ratna (posthumously) upon him,” Reddy said in the letter.
Reminding the precedent of conferring Bharat Ratna on other eminent departed leaders, Reddy invoked the names of Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (1926-2011) and Nanaji Deshmukh (1916-2010), who were posthumously awarded by the Indian government in 2019.
Many feel Venkayya’s contribution was not recognized properly.
On March 31, 1921 in Vijayawada, Venkaiah gifted his designs to Mahatma Gandhi, who recognized his passionate efforts and wrote in his journal ‘Young India’ that, “We should be prepared to sacrifice our lives for the sake of our national flag. Pingali Venkayya, who worked in Andhra National College Machilipatnam, has published a book describing the flags of countries and designed many models for our own national flag.”
On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted Venkayya’s design as the free Indian national flag, thus crediting him as the designer of the Indian tricolour.
The Andhra Pradesh government also doled out a financial assistance of Rs 75 lakh to Venkayya’s nonagenarian daughter, Ghantasala Sita Mahalakshmi.
Venkayya was born on August 2, 1876, in Bhatlapenumarru village near Machilipatnam in Krishna district and breathed his last on July 4, 1963.