BJP’s six defences as Opposition blasts newly unveiled national emblem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Emblem cast atop the new parliament building on Monday. The government was sharply questioned by opposition parties, who claimed that the cast had been altered. Since then, the BJP has asserted that there has been no modification. Moreover, the Centre claimed that it is an adaptation of Ashoka’s Sarnath Lion Capital.

With the criticism gathering momentum, senior leaders of the BJP had to rebut the charges leveled against the emblem. Here’s how it went:

Amit Malviya

Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT unit in-charge, responded to the criticism by claiming that the symbol on top of the new Parliament building was adapted from Ashoka’s Sarnath Lion Capital. “The National Emblem atop the new Parliament building of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka, which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum. There is just no change. The opposition is comparing 2D images in print to an imposing 3D structure. They have lost it,” he said.

Smriti Irani

In response to the TMC’s jibes, Union Minister Smriti Irani stated on Tuesday that such criticism is to be expected from a party that denigrates Goddess Kali. “Those leaders who have either disregarded or discarded the Constitution over the years are expected to oppose the national emblem. Today they are afraid of the national emblem, which is the pride of our country. It is not unexpected from the party and its leaders who insult Goddess Kali to insult the national emblem,” she said.

Hardeep Puri

In a clarification, Union Minister Hardeep Puri stated that the new logo is a “replica” of the one in Sarnath. Puri said that if an exact reproduction of the old Sarnath emblem were to be placed over the new Parliament, it would be difficult to see beyond the outside rail.

“Sense of proportion & perspective. Beauty is famously regarded as lying in the eyes of the beholder. So is the case with calm & anger. The original #Sarnath #Emblem is 1.6 mtr high whereas the emblem on the top of the #NewParliamentBuilding is huge at 6.5 mtrs height. 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 mtrs from ground. One needs to appreciate the impact of angle, height & 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. If the Sarnath emblem was to be scaled up or the emblem on the new Parliament building is reduced to that size there would not be any difference,” he described in a series of tweets.

BL Santosh

BJP’s national general secretary BL Santosh resorted to terming the critics as “unemployed andolanjeevis”.

“For last 36 hours many unemployed andolanjeevis are trying to find fault with Lion capital image atop new Parliament complex. Someone years back during ‘Saraswati Vandana’ controversy had told “Ma Saraswati it’s not your fault. You are sitting on a lotus. That’s our problem,” he tweeted.

Anil Baluni

Anil Baluni, the chief spokesperson for the BJP and a member of the Rajya Sabha, claimed that the opposition’s criticism stemmed from its frustration with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for replacing the 150-year-old British-built Parliament building with a new one built by India.

“The opposition is totally due to political reasons. Opposition parties want to target Modi for one reason or another. It is just a conspiracy to vitiate the atmosphere by misleading people,” he said.

Sculptor to BJP’s rescue

In the meantime, Sunil Deore, the sculptor, stated that no one influenced the making of the emblem. “The cast is a replica of the sculpture at Sarnath. We studied the original sculpture before starting the project,” Deore said.

The BJP did not miss banking on Deore’s statement. In a tweet, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said, “Sunil Deore the sculptor reiterated that there is no difference in the National Emblem which is based on the original Sarnath Lion Capital & explains the difference when you see the same Emblem from ground level up and from eye level. Will the opposition stop petty politics?”

— ENDS —

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