Thursday, August 18, 2016

#ForgottenHero, The Creator Of Indian Tricolor Who Died In Poverty

India has celebrated its 70th Independence Day on 15th August 2016. The tricolor was seen flying every corner of the country and there is nothing wrong in celebrating this auspicious day with full enthusiasm. But, have you ever tried to find out  who made our national flag, our beloved tricolour?

How could you know when the person who created the tricolour was anonymous to us for all these years! Finally, after 46 years of his death, this extraordinary contribution was honoured and got the due respect. Let us know about this amazing personality and show our respect to him.

He Was Pingali Venkayya

Pingali Venkayya was born on 2nd August 1876, in a village near the Andhra Pradesh. At the age of 19, he became the captain (Sena Nayak) in British army posted in South Africa. During the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi met Pingali.

Pingali got so much inspired by Mahatma Gandhi that he returned to India to be with him forever. After returning to India, he became an ardent follower of Gandhi and devoted his life as a freedom fighter. He took  key interest in creating the national flag of  India. Pingali began the study of national flags from 30 countries to design our own national flag. From 1916 to 1921 he continued the research on this subject and finally made this amazing design of the tricolour.

At first, the tricolour made by Pingali had 3 colours red, green and white. The red colour was for Hindus, the green for Muslims and the white for all the other religions. Then there was a Spinning Wheel (Charka) in the middle in place of today’s Ashoka Chakra as a symbol of progress.

The Tricolour got accepted in 1931

In 1931 a resolution was passed to adopt the tricolour as our national flag. However, some modifications were made like changing the red colour to saffron. On 22nd July 1947 the Constituent Assembly adopted this tricolour as our national flag. Shortly after the introduction, another round of adjustment was made and the spinning wheel was replaced with the Ashoka Chakra (Dharma chakra of Samrat Ashoka).

Pingali died due to extreme poverty in a small hut

You will be ashamed to know that the person who gave nation the glorious tricolour we are so proud of had led his entire life in extreme poverty. Pingali died in 1963 at Vijayawada inside a small hut or more of a shack, which cannot be regarded as a house. Even after his death, no one was aware of his contribution. People came to know about him only after 2009 when a postage stamp was issued in the name of Pingali. He got the due respect 46 years after his death. Still, how many of us know about his life and his contribution? Pingali remains as one of the #ForgottenHeroes.

The post first appeared in KenFolios - Only interesting stories.

Image Courtesy: The Quint


  1. Thank you for sharing this, indeed I was not aware!

  2. Not just him but so many of our national heros have similar sad story. It is so so annoying :(

  3. Nice. You wrote about him. Many outside AP & Telegana are not aware of him.


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