Opposition members and activists among others on Tuesday accused the government of distorting the national emblem by replacing the "graceful and regally confident" Ashokan lions with those having menacing and aggressive posture and sought immediate change.
"Narendra Modi Ji, please observe the face of the Lion, whether it is representing the statue of Great Sarnath or a distorted version of GIR lion. Please check it and if it needs, mend the same, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said on Twitter.
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.
"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 the new Parliament building - snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately," Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Jawahar Sircar said on Twitter sharing two different images of the national emblem.
Historian S Irfan Habib also objected to the national emblem unveiled atop the new Parliament building.
"Meddling with our national emblem was totally unnecessary and avoidable. Why should our lions look ferocious and full of angst? These are Ashoka's lions adapted by independent India in 1950," Habib 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," senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan said.
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