Madame Cama and the National Flag
One of the two posts i had posted on the old thread was on Madame Bhikhaji Cama. It is not widely known that the forerunner of the Indian national flag was designed by Madame Cama and that the present flag is closely patterned after the flag that she unfurled in Europe in the early decades of the 20th century. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/itihas/cama.htm
<img src="http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/itihas/kamaflag.jpg" alt="" />
"The tricolor-flag Madam Cama unfurled had green, saffron, and red stripes. Red represented strength, saffron victory, and green stood for boldness and enthusiasm. there were 8 lotuses representing 8 provinces and flowers represented princely states. "Vande Mataram" in Devanagari adorned central saffron stripe which meant "salutation to Mother India." The sun and the moon indicated Hindu and Muslim faiths. The flag was designed by Veer Savarkar with the help of other revolutionaries. After Stuttgart, Madam went to United States. She traveled a lot and informed Americans about Indians struggling for Independence. She told about British efforts to smother the voice of educated Indians who protested against tyranny and despotism of British who always boasted themselves as "mother of parliamentary democracy" over the world! She could be called "Mother India's first cultural representative to USA."" http://www.tiranga.net/madamcama.htm
"In the history of the India's National Flag, the name of Madame Bhikhaji Rustom Cama is inscribed in gold. She was one of those soldiers of our fight for freedom who strengthened the movement from abroad. She was the first Indian to have raised an Indian flag on foreign soil and announced to the world of our political flight with the British for the country's Independence. She was the first Indian Lady who unfurled the tricolour flag of green on the top,sacred to the Muslims, golden saffron, the sacred colour of both the Buddhists and the Sikhs and red was at the bottom, sacred to Hindus with eight lotuses in a line representing the eight provinces of British India and Vande Mataram on the golden band with the sun towards the fly and a crescent towards the hoist of the flag at international forum on August 22, 1907 and said....
" This flag is of Indian Independence. Behold, it is born. It is already sanctioned by the blood of martyred Indian youths. I call upon you gentlemen, to rise and salute this flag of Indian Independence. In the name of this flag, I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to cooperate with this flag in freeing one-fifth of the human race. " Madame Cama's Flag was carefully planned and in all probability, it was jointly designed by her and her close associates, Veer Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma. At her behest it was prepared by Hem Chandra Das (Kanungo), a young revolutionery from Bengal, who was later convicted and jailed in the Andamans.
Our tribute to Madame Cama in the evolution of the Indian National - Flag would be incomplete without tracing the subsequent history of the original flag unfurled by Madame Cama at Stuttgart. According to the facts available, Madame Cama before finally returning to India in December 1935 had an attack of paralysis. Even her eyesight was fading, she knew her end but the flag had to be kept flying - the struggle must go on. She handed over the precious flag to one of its associate, called Madhav Rao and returned to India in December 1935 and on August 16, 1936 she quietly died in Bombay, unwept and unsung.
The Berlin Committe Flag :
The story of the Indian National - Flag abroad does not end with Madame Cama. The Indian committee, which was set up by the Indian Revolutionaries in Berlin (better known as the Berlin Committe), soon after the outbreak of World War I, adopted Madame Cama's tricolour as their flag with some modification. This flag, however, was not freely used in public at that time in Germany. But, it was open in Mesopotamia by the volunteer force organised by the Berlin Committee the help of Indian prisoners and deserters from the British Indian Army along with some Ghader revolutionaries.
The Ghader Party - Flag :
The Ghader Party, which was formed in the U.S.A., along adopted the tricolour as the National - Flag. It had stripes in the order of green, yellow and red with an emblem of crossed swords in the centre. In the early years of our freedom struggle the tricolour was widely used by Indian revolutionaries in the U.S.A., Germany and Mesopotamia. "