After Congress and some of the opposition parties alleged distortions in the 6.5-metre national emblem placed atop the new Parliament building, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs ministry on Tuesday said that it was a “perfect replica of the Lion Capital of Ashoka in Sarnath except for the size”.
Union Housing Minister Hardeep Puri also said if the Sarnath emblem is scaled up or the one on the new Parliament building is reduced to that size, there would not be any difference.
“Sense of proportion and perspective. Beauty is famously regarded as lying in the eyes of the beholder. So is the case with calm and anger. The original Sarnath Emblem is 1.6-metre high whereas the emblem on the top of the New Parliament building is huge at 6.5 metres,” he tweeted.
“If an exact replica of the original were to be placed on the new building, it would barely be visible beyond the peripheral rail. The ‘experts’ should also know that the original placed in Sarnath is at ground level while the new emblem is at a height of 33 metres from the ground. One needs to appreciate the impact of angle, height and scale when comparing the two structures. If one looks at the Sarnath emblem from below it would look as calm or angry as the one being discussed,” Puri added.
Opposition parties hit out at the Prime Minister for unveiling the national emblem cast atop the new Parliament building, calling it a “clear violation of the Constitution”.
“To completely change the character and nature of the lions on Ashoka’s pillar at Sarnath is nothing but a brazen insult to India’s National Symbol!,” AICC general secretary in-charge of communication department Jairam Ramesh said.
The Opposition also accused the government of violating the State Emblem of India (prohibition of improper use) Act, 2005, as the emblem cannot vary from the design as per the Act.
“Narendramodi Ji, please observe the face of the Lion, whether it is representing the statue of Great Sarnath or a distorted version of GIR lion. Please check it and if it is needed, mend the same,” said Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
“Insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan Lions. Original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modi’s version, put above the new Parliament building — snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately!,” tweeted Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jawahar Sircar as he posted two different images of the emblem.
The RJD, too, hit out at the government.
Prime Ministeron Monday unveiled the national emblem that has been placed atop the new Parliament building in a special ceremony also attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Housing Minister Hardeep Puri.
The metal sculpture has been built in Aurangabad, Jaipur and Delhi by artists Sunil Deore and Lakshman Vyas. The earlier design incorporated a spire atop the building and was replaced with the Ashoka Emblem in 2020.
The 6.5-metre national emblem is made of bronze with a total weight of 9,500 kg and has been cast at the top of the central foyer of the new Parliament building. A supporting structure of steel weighing around 6,500 kg has been constructed to support the emblem.