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Artist Of Original National Emblem Visited Zoo For Months To Observe Lions, Says Family

Indore:  The family members of Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that had designed the original national emblem of India, on Wednesday said that in order to accomplish the task, he kept visiting a zoo in Kolkata for three months to closely observe lions.

The family members recalled this amid a row over the national emblem installed atop the new Parliament building, to which the opposition parties have taken objections, accusing the Centre of replacing the “graceful and regally confident” Ashokan lions with those having menacing and aggressive posture.

Late Bhargava was part of the group, which designed the national emblem that decorated the Indian Constitution’s manuscript. It was designed on the basis of an ancient sculpture ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka’ at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh that dates back to 250 BC.

“India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had given the task of designing the Constitution’s original manuscript to Ravindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan’s Kala Bhavan principal and noted painter Nandalal Bose,” Dinanath Bhargava’s wife Prabha (85) told PTI.

But Late Bose had handed over the task of creating the Ashok Stambh’s picture to her husband, who was young at that time and studying Arts in the Shantiniketan, she said. “After the directives of his guru, my husband continuously visited Kolkata’s zoo for three months to closely observe lions for their expressions and to see how they sit and stand,” she said.

The family members claimed that a replica of the original artwork of Ashok Stambh designed by Dinanath Bhargava is still in their possession as he had completed it many years later in around 1985.

The artwork designed by Late Bhargava using gold leaf shows the mouth of the three lions opening a little and their teeth are also visible in it. In the bottom “Satyamev Jayate” is also written in golden colour.

Meanwhile, Dinanath Bhargava’s daughter-in-law refused to comment on the row over difference in design of the emblem situated atop the new Parliament building and the original one designed by her father-in-law.

“I don’t want to get into this controversy, but it is natural that there is bound to be a little difference in a picture and its statue,” she said.

She demanded that any art gallery, place or museum in Madhya Pradesh be named after Dinanath Bhargava to preserve the memory of the artwork that he had designed for the Constitution.

“Despite several leader’s assurances to the family on the issue, this demand has remained unfulfilled till date,” she said.

Dinanath Bhargava hailed from Betul town in the state and breathed his last on December 24, 2016 at the age of 89 years in Indore, the family members added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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