National emblem row: Opposition attacks Centre over muscular, aggressive lions; here's all you need to know

The Opposition has voiced its displeasure at Modi flouting constitutional norms by not inviting the opposition leaders to the event.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 11:58 PM IST
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National emblem row: Opposition attacks Centre over muscular, aggressive lions; here's all you need to know |

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties and activists on Tuesday flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for modifying and altering the national emblem by replacing the majestic, graceful and regally confident lions of the Ashoka pillar with the snarling and menacing lions atop the new Parliament building on Monday.

The opposition parties, which had protested on Monday over the Prime Minister unveiling privately the national emblem, without inviting them, wanted its immediate remova,l since "lions with bared fangs" exhibit unnecessary "aggression," while the original one sat gracefully.

The Opposition has voiced its displeasure at Modi flouting constitutional norms by not inviting the opposition leaders to the event.

"Narendra Modi ji, please observe the face of the lions, whether it is representing the statue of Great Sarnath or a distorted version of GIR lion. Please check it and, if it needs it, mend the same," tweeted Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

"Insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan lions. The original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modi's version put above the new Parliament building – snarling and unnecessarily aggressive. Shame! Change it immediately," said Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Jawahar Sirchar on Twitter, sharing two different images of the national emblem.

Historian S Irfan Habib also objected to the emblem. He said: "Meddling with our national emblem was totally unnecessary and avoidable. Why should our lions look ferocious and full of angst?’’

More stringent was the criticism by Supreme Court lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan. He tweeted: "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!"

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 and juxtaposed side-by-side pictures of the old national emblem and the new one.

The Opposition hurled 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, he 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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