The National Emblem hoisted by PM Narendra Modi on 11h July, 2022, has come up to face controversies. The national emblem is an adaption of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, dating back to Maurya empire. The State Emblem of India Act, 2005 stated that the emblem must conform the deigns as set in the Appendix I or Appendix II of the Act.
The emblem was designed by Sunil Deore and Romiel Moses, atop the new parliament building. The PMO said that the structure has a height of 6.5 meter, made of bronze weighing 9,500 kgs. A steel structure weighing about 6,500kgs has been constructed over to support the statue.
PM Modi tweeted on his account, “This morning I had the honour of unveiling the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new parliament,” He added, “I had a wonderful interaction with the ‘shramajeevis’ who have been involved in the making of the parliament,”. He said that structure of the National Emble, must be seen as hut to all the country men.
Putting the word “hut” as reference, a rise of irony has taken place. The Opposition has demonstrated, the Central Vista Project including the new parliament complex, Modi was working on it for himself, when all the countrymen were dying for lack of oxygen and joblessness, in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Opposition parties have questioned the display of National Emblem by PM Narendra Modi, as head of the Executive. They have also put forward that the emblem has been modified and “insulted”.
Prior to the controversy, the Opposition leaders questioned the government for not inviting them to the unveiling ceremony.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal by Lalu Prasad Yadav tweeted that the lions in the national emblem have a lenient expression, whereas the new emblem sculpture, shows a “man-eater tendency” tendency of the lions.
Mentioning Modi’s “Amrit Kaal” remark, the RJD’s Official handle tweeted in Hindi, that the original emblem has a mild expression, but those built during Amrit Kaal showed a man-eater tendency with an expression of consuming everything in the country. It also said that every symbol shows the thought of mankind and convey true nature of human beings.
Jawhar Sircar, a Rajya Sabha MP of Trinamool Congress and former CEO of Prasar Bharti, termed it, “an insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan Lions”. Sharing the images he tweeted, “Original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modi’s version, put above new Parliament building- snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate.
Shame! Change it immediately!” While speaking to the media, Jawhar Sircar said, “A close look would reveal that there is an aggression in the facial appearance of the lion, whereas what Samrat Ashoka was trying to convey was a controlled regality.
The placid expression on the face of very aggressive creatures like lions was an embodiment of the message of peace that Ashoka was trying to give.”
While replying to Mr. Sircar, BJP’s Chandra Kumar Bose stated, “Everything evolves in the society, we have also evolved 75 years after independence. An artist’s expression is not necessarily kind of a government approval. For everything, you can’t blame the government of India or the honorable Prime Minister.”
While speaking to media he said, “I accept the view that Mr. Jawhar Sircar stated that there is a change, a modification to the structure. But let us not always criticize. Maybe India is different today,”.
Congress leader, Gaurav Gogoi tweeted’ “parliament and the national emblem belong to the people of India and not one man”. CPM said, that the constitutional separation power is being destabilized by the head of the Executive.
Asaddudin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen tweeted, “As head of the government, the Prime Minister shouldn’t have unveiled the national emblem stop of the new parliament building. The Prime minister has violated all constitutional norms.”
Sunil Deore and Romiel Moses said that there was “no deviation” in the sculpture. They also said that the characters of the lions were kept same, maybe from the bottom view it gives a distorted expression. They added, as artists they are very proud of the sculpture.