In a tribute to India’s 73rd Independence Day, veteran director N. Gopalakrishna has made a documentary The Pride of the Nation, which pays tribute to the history of the Indian National Flag. The documentary also traces the life of its designer, Pingali Venkayya, a Telugu who had designed the flag with suggestions from Mahatma Gandhi.
The Pride of the Nation had won the prestigious Nandi Award by the Andhra Pradesh Government for the year 2013. Now, it is all set to tour many film festivals, the International Film Festival of India, IFFI Goa 2019, is one of them.
Gopalakrishna is credited with introducing many new faces on the silver screen, including actress Jayasudha, whom he cast as lead actress in his film Lakshmana Rekha 44 years ago.
His reasons for this documentary are simple. “There’s a lot that the present generation needs to know about our national flag and the pride behind it. Moreover, it is such a pride for the Telugu states that the flag is designed by one of our own, Pingali Venkayya,” elaborates the veteran filmmaker who’s also made many documentaries and has worked as a jury member for the International Children Film Festival.
The Pride of the Nation, which explains every detail of the flag including the choice of the three colours, chakra and all the other symbols, is all about how the flag is a symbol of pride. “If one looks at any Hindu epic, all the kingdoms were represented by different kind of flags. So, I started by tracing the evolution of the flag from there to how it actually became the Indian flag,” explains Gopalakrishna.
Taking the flag places
The Pride of the Nation uses a live cast of actors to play a few freedom fighters like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Sarvepalli Radha Krishna, with the director playing the role of Tagore.