By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to confer Bharat Ratna (posthumously) on Pingali Venkaiah, the architect of national flag. On a day when the Prime Minister launched the ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations to mark the 75 years of Independence of India, Jagan wrote a letter to Modi seeking Bharat Ratna on Pingali Venkaiah.

Earlier in the day, the CM felicitated Venkaiah’s daughter Ghantasala Seetha Mahalakshmi on the occasion and extended financial assistance of Rs 75 lakh on behalf of the government to her. Jagan, after launching the celebrations by garlanding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and Pingali Venkaiah, visited the residence of Venkaiah’s daughter Ghantasala Seetha Mahalakshmi at Macherla in Guntur district. 

The CM felicitated Seetha Mahalakshmi with a shawl and a bouquet and interacted with her and other family members. Striking an emotional chord with her and reminiscing the freedom struggle and the contribution of various freedom fighters, Jagan said it is a matter of great pride to the State that the national flag has been designed by Pingali Venkaiah.

The family members expressed immense happiness and gratitude towards Jagan for taking time and recognising the efforts of Pingali Venkaiah. “It was like my grandson coming to my home to see me,’’ Seetha Mahalakshmi told the media.

In his letter, Jagan said the decision to celebrate the 75 years of Independence under the leadership of Modi will go a long way in marking the monumental programme in the history of India. “During the first meeting of National Committee held on March 8, the guidance and insights provided by you regarding the five pillars of celebrations are enchanting and thought-provoking. 

It is pertinent to mention that ‘Har Ghar Jhanda’ has been selected as one of the key themes for the celebrations for Independence Day 2021 where a call will be given to every citizen to hoist the National Flag in their house on August 15, 2021 and become part of the festivities,’’ Jagan said.

The CM said Pingali Venkaiah, born on August 2, 1876 in Bhatlapenumarru village near Machilipatnam, who was even referred as Jhanda Venkaiah, decided to undertake a study of different flags across the world having seen the effect of a common national flag on the mind and psyche of the people. “This study went on to sharpen his acumen in designing India’s national flag. In 1916, he published a booklet ‘A National Flag for India’ describing flags of different countries and also gave his ideas towards Indian national flag,’’ Jagan said. On March 31, 1921, in Vijayawada, Venkaiah gifted his designs to Mahatma Gandhi, who appreciated the efforts of Venkaiah in his Young India journal.

Jagan said though the Constituent Assembly adopted the flag as Free India National Flag on July 22, 1947, Venkaiah’s life and works largely remain unrecognised.“For several decades, the untiring efforts of Venkaiah, who gifted the country the first designs and specimen of the national flag, went unrecognised. I request you to confer Bharat Ratna (posthumously) on Venkaiah that would not only bequeath peace to his departed soul, but also fulfil the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh,’’ Jagan said in the letter.

The Chief Minister also mentioned that previously, the Government of India conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously on eminent personalities like Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika, Nanaji Deshmukh, Aruna Asaf Ali, Jayaprakash Narayan and several others.

Rs 75 lakh aid to Pingali’s daughter
The CM felicitated Venkaiah’s daughter Ghantasala Seetha Mahalakshmi on the occasion and extended a financial assistance of Rs 75 lakh on behalf of the government to her

CM’s visit overwhelms Pingali’s kin 
The family members expressed immense happiness and gratitude towards Jagan for taking time and recognising the efforts of Pingali Venkaiah. “It was like my grandson coming to my home to see me,’’ Seetha Mahalakshmi said


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