'From Gandhi to Godse': National emblem showing lions with bared fangs atop new Parliament erupts furore
The Opposition parties have accused the government of giving the cast of the national emblem, adapted from the Lion Capital of Ashoka, a makeover, showing bared fangs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday unveiled a bronze cast of India's national emblem -- four lions, standing back to back -- on top of the new Parliament building. The 21-feet 3-inch-tall bronze statue shows four Asiatic lions seated at the top of the central foyer of the building, which is part of the Central Vista project.
But the Opposition in India has accused the government of giving the cast of the national emblem, adapted from the Lion Capital of Ashoka, a makeover. The Opposition parties highlighted that the statue shows "lions with bared fangs" showing "aggression", while the original one, they say, is sitting gracefully.
'FROM GANDHI TO GODSE'
Lawyer and politician Prashant Bhushan slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the cast of the national emblem on the roof of the new Parliament building.
Prashant Bhushan 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!"
Rajya Sabha MP of Trinamool Congress, Jawhar Sircar, said the new statue of lions is unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate.
"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 new Parliament building - snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately!" he said.
In a series of tweets, TMC MP Mahua Moitra said, "Truth be told, transition from Satyameva Jayate to Singhameva Jayate has long been completed in spirit." She also tweeted side-by-side pictures of the old national emblem and the one on the top of the new Parliament building.
Opposition parties have also slammed PM Narendra Modi over the unveiling of a cast of the national emblem atop the new Parliament building, hurling a slew of accusations ranging from the absence of opposition leaders, conducting a religious ceremony on Parliament premises and "subverting" the principle of the constitutional separation of powers.
"The Constitution separates powers of Parliament, government and judiciary. As head of the government, the Prime Minister should not have unveiled the national emblem atop the new parliament building," AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi wrote on Twitter.
Congress leader Manickam Tagore highlighted the absence of the Opposition leaders from the event.
Tagging Om Birla, Manickam Tagore said, "Hon'ble Speaker sahib, Parliament needs Ruling party and Opposition parties. Where are the Opposition party Leaders? It's not BJP office I think."
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon also pointed why the government had kept Opposition leaders away from the ceremony. "Not inviting them is a major flaw in a democratic set up," he said.
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