On national emblem row, minister provides ‘sense of proportion’: ‘One needs to…’


Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday defended the depiction of the national emblem cast atop the new Parliament building after the opposition parties’ criticism of the alleged ferocious makeover. In a series of tweets, the housing and urban affairs minister asserted that there would not be any difference between the original Sarnath emblem and the one installed on the new Parliament building if the former is scaled up or the latter is reduced to the original size.

Taking a swipe at the detractors, he wrote, “Beauty is famously regarded as lying in the eyes of the beholder. So is the case with calm & anger.”

Providing a “sense of proportion and perspective”, Puri said that the Sarnath emblem is 1.6m tall while the latest depiction is 6.5m. He argued that an exact replica of the original, if placed on the new building, would be barely visible beyond the peripheral rail. The minister stressed the need to appreciate the impact of “angle, height & scale when comparing the two structures.”

“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 mtrs from ground,” he added. “If one looks at the Sarnath emblem from below it would look as calm or angry as the one being discussed.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Modi unveiled the national emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building. After the images of the replica were shared on social media, Congress, RJD and Trinamool Congress leaders accused the government of “distorting” the national emblem.

Artists say no distortion amid row over ‘aggressive’ emblem

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the government should check whether the national emblem of Parliament represents “the statue of Great Sarnath” or “is a distorted version of GIR lion”. “Please check it and if it needs, mend the same,” he said in a tweet.

Trinamool Congress MP Jawahar Sircar said the depiction of Ashokan lions is ” unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate”.

A former senior official of the Archaeological Survey of India said that the depiction of lions in the national emblem is a “good copy” of Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, reported ANI.

“When it comes to 7-8 feet Ashoka Lion and when it comes to 20-21 feet Ashoka Lion, then the artist’s work angle is different. If you look at something built up high, then it looks different from below, but there is no significant difference. I believe that what has been made is a good copy of the Ashoka Pillar found at Sarnath,” BR Mani, former ADG of Archaeological Survey of India, said, as quoted by ANI.