Highlights

  • Controversy over new national emblem installation at Parliament
  • PM unveiled statue on Monday, demeanour of Ashoka lions questioned
  • Opposition accuses Centre of changing national emblem

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Explained: why Opposition is slamming Modi govt over new national emblem installation

Opposition leaders are accusing the Modi-led govt of distorting India's national emblem saying there is a marked difference in the demeanour of the Ashoka lions. 

The national emblem installation atop the new Parliament building has been mired in controversy from the moment it was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

Opposition leaders are accusing the Modi-led govt of distorting India's national emblem saying there is a marked difference in the demeanour of the Ashoka lions.

Rashtriya Janata Dal tweeted that while the lions in original sculpture have a gentleness on their faces, the new one displays a 'man-eater' tendency that could swallow humans, its ancestors and the country.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged the prime minister to observe the face of the lions on the new installation and decide whether it is represents the one on the Great Sarnath stature or a distorted version of the Gir lion.

Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Jawahar Sircar shared two different images of the national emblem on Twitter and wrote that while the lion on the original is graceful, regally confident and the one in Modi's version snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate.

Senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan too criticised the new installation and said, 'from Gandhi to Godse; from our national emblem with lions sitting majestically & peacefully to the new national emblem unveiled for the top of the new Parliament building under construction at Central Vista, angry lions with bared fangs. This is Modi's new India.'

Also watch: 'Issue of perspective': what a senior archaeologist said about new national emblem statue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday unveiled the cast of the national emblem atop the new Parliament building in the presence of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh. Opposition had hit out at Modi flouting constitutional norms and not inviting opposition leaders for the event.

The central govt was also slammed for conducting a puja on the occasion with opposition leaders saying that an event related to the Parliament or Constitution is supposed to be secular in nature.

The 6.5-metre installation, weighing 16,000 kg including supporting structure (9,500 kg - national emblem, and 6500 kg - supporting structure), fully handcrafted by Indian artisans, is made of high-purity bronze.

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