Today marks the 140th birth anniversary of our prominent Telugu personality, Sri Pingali Venkayya Garu. He designed the National Flag of India, making an important contribution to Indian history and people of the country.
The pride of Telugus, Venkayya Garu’s design for the National Flag was adopted by the constituent assembly of India on 22nd July 1947.
Born in Bhatlapennumaru of Krishna District Andhra Pradesh, Venkayya garu was also well known as Diamond Venkayya or Patthi (Cotton) Venkayya. After finishing his schooling in Machilipatnam, Sri Venkayya Garu went on to complete his Senior Cambridge in Colombo. A true patriot by nature, he also enlisted himself for the Boer War while he was a 19 year old young man. Venkayya Garu also happened to meet the young Mahatma Gandhiji while in South Africa, and their friendship lasted for a very long time.
After serving as a Railway guard with burning patriotism inside, Venkayya Garu left the meaningless job and took off to Lahore for further education. There, he joined the Anglo Vedic College and learnt languages like Urdu and Japanese while excelling in the subject of History.
The initial 1900 s proved crucial in the life of Venkayya, who researched extensively on staple varieties of crops, studying exclusively about Cambodia Cotton. His knowledge was immensely respected and recognized by even the British officials. He also served as an authority of diamond mining in Andhra Pradesh and was later fondly referred to as Diamond Venkayya.
From 1916 to 1921, he spent considerable time studying various flags of 30 different countries. He then came up with a historic tri color flag concept for India. At times, the flag of Vandemataram movement is perceived as an antecedent of Venkayya’s tri color concept.
The great man who lived immortal with his flag design led a simple life with no riches. He spent the last days of his life at a hut in Vijayawada, and the family was in deep poverty.
The great man Sri Pingali Venkayya continues to live ingrained in Indian History forever. Thank you for such a great National Flag. Respect.