It was the twitterati who remembered the not so well documented yet monumental work of Pingali Venkayya, the man who designed the Indian national flag. This fact of history is for some reason conveniently ignored, even while the people of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh – the Telugu speaking population takes great pride in this major feat in the history of independent India as the freedom-fighter and Gandhi follower is from their state.
He was born on August 2, 1876, and was with the British Indian army until he met the Mahatma – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was a great influence on him. The association lasted for more than 50 years.
On 31 March, 1921 – it was during the Kakinada conference of the Indian National Congress that Venkayya conceptualized the idea of a national flag. It was Gandhi, who added the white stripe to Venkayya’s saffron and green flag while Arya Samaj movement founder Lala Hansraj contributed the Dharm Chakra (wheel of law).
The present tricolour was adopted on 22 July, 1947 at a meeting of the Constituent Assembly, just a few days before India was granted independence.
Pingali Venkayya died in 1963.