Mahitatma - Pingali Venkayya – A brief remembrance
In Mahabharata, Kauravas and Pandavas had their own flags. Every country has its own national flag, a symbol of their own, of their own greatness. Even those who have their own faith, even those who are not believers would not tolerate another country hoisting an alien flag. Signifying the holiness of our nation, Madame Bhikaji Rustom Coma made and flew a flag in Germany. She is not forgotten. In New Delhi there is important spot called Bhikaji Coma place.
The fame of designing a flag in that manner goes to Pingali Venkayya, born in greatness Bhatla Penumarru, a small village, on the second of September, 1878. His father was village Karanam, an officer of the government of the. The ancestor’s belonged to Maharashtra. Pingali Moropanth worked as an army chief under Maharaja Chatrapati Sivaji. We also remember the chief of army under the Nawabs if Golconda Pingali Maadanna. Venkanna became a follower of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. When Bharat called Gandhi Mahatma in later years he began holding him in high esteem. He went to Ceylon and passed the Senior Cambridge Examination. Very much interested in studies right from a tender age. He heard of Lala Hansraj Dayanand Anglo Vedic college and joined it. Apart from English he studied Japanese there. He was called Japan Venkayya thereafter.
In 1906 he attended the Congress Session in Calcutta. Dadabhai Nau roji was the president there. Rajendra Prasad said once that then he was only an honorary member ad Venkayya was recognized as an esteemed member. Gandhism and love of motherland Venkayya attended every congress Session and became an inspiration for many others. He agitated against laws controlling and banning weapons and took part in meeting of the revolutionary youth. He canvassed that youth should get army training advocated by Veer Savarkar. Like Swami Vivekananda he roared that youth should have ion muscles and nerves like steel wires.
Munagala Raja’s ideas impressed Venkayya. The Raja believed that scientific methods should be adopted to foster agriculture. Venkayya became a member of the Royal Agricultural Society of London.
From 1911 to 1919 Venkayya worked as a professor in National College, Machilipatnam. He researched in the aspects of diamond mining inspiring several Europeans. As a scholar he used to speak fluently in Urdu and Japanese. Journals and newspapers like Hindu, Leader, Tribune and Modern Review used to publish his articles. Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (Lal, Bal, Pal) inspired him and along with them he participated in Home Rule Movement. Pal praised Venkayya’s oration as the flow of lava.
Venkayya wrote a book on the Chinese leader Sun Yet-Sen which enthused many patriots. In that he explained how Dalai lama could influence the future. He foretold that China would swallow Tibet. People in those days knew that though Valla Bhai Patel warned about Tibet’s danger, we know how Nehru gave it a deaf ear. He dedicated the book to the Englishmen who saved the Chinese leader.
In 1916 in a book Venkayya wrote on the national fag designed by him attracted our leaders. In 1921 Mahatma suggested the creation of a national flag for our country with spinning wheel, charka on it, within hours he designed and showed to the Mahatma.
In 1922 he gave up politics and interest in Gandhian ways showing his preference to work with revolutionary leaders. At the ripe old age of 85 on the 4th of August 1963 he breathed his last. It is our bounden duty to commemorate his service to our motherland on January 26th and August 15th. Singing the national anthem in unison must be our passion as the children of MOTHER INDIA.
Inputs: Courtesy (SUPATHA Telugu an English Cultural Bi-monthly journal)