After Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
to confer a posthumous Bharat Ratna upon Pingali Venkaiah, the designer of the Indian national flag, earlier this month, actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena head Pawan Kalyan today made the same demand.
He, too, demanded that the BJP-led Centre confer the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, on Venkaiah.
Kalyan said that the 75th anniversary of India's independence would be the most apt occasion on which to remember the sacrifices of the stalwarts who fought for the nation's freedom, and to remember other great sons of the soil as well.
"It is of utmost importance to honour the creator of the tricolour - it has after all inspired the people of our nation for decades and has become a universal symbol of India. I believe it is of great import that we honour Pingali Venkaiah, the designer of the Indian national flag, with a posthumous Bharat Ratna. We should also erect his statues across the villages of our state in recognition of his contribution to our nation," he added.
Jagan had already appealed to the Modi government to honour Venkaiah with the Bharat Ratna apart from giving Rs 75 lakh to his kin as part of the celebrations of the nation's 75th year of independence.
The repeated appeals of AP's leaders in this matter are hardly surprising since Jhanda Venkaiah, as he is popularly known, holds a special place in the heart of the people of the state.
Born in a village near Machilipatnam, he was deeply influenced by the Gandhian ideology. Inspired by Gandhi's ideals, he devoted himself to the country's struggle for freedom. His design of the tricolour that we all know and love was adopted as the Indian flag by the Constituent Assembly in July 1947.