Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pingali Venkaiah

“It hurts me deeply that we host the union jack flag, in Congress Maha Sabha! It puzzles me that we have not yet thought about a national flag for India”, thought Pingalai Venkaiah, the year was 1906.

Venkaiah decided to study flags of nations and to design a flag for India.

In 1916, Venkaiah published a book “A National Flag for India” in which he put forth 30 models for National Flag.

During the Indian National Congress held at Vijayawada, in April 1921, Gandhi asked Pingali Venkaiah to draw a National Flag. Venkaiah completed the design in less than three hours.

This flag evolved further in 1931 and it was officially adopted by Congress

Venkaiah’s original thinking was not restricted to Flags alone but also to many different streams. When Gandhi started the ‘Kadhi’ movement, Venkaiah decided to experiment with different varieties of cotton corps. He zeroed in on Cambodian Cotton and created a hybrid Indian variety. The British government recognized his research and conferred him honorary membership of the Royal Agricultural Society of Britain. Pingali came to be known as Patti (‘Cotton’) Venkayya.

This versatile man was also a prolific writer, a Japanese lecturer and a geophysicist!

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