The Ashokan Pillar, which is constructed on the roof of the new Parliament House, is the subject of growing dispute. It was unveiled on Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Regarding this, the opposition has levelled numerous accusations. The opposition asserts that the new pillar was made by altering the existing pillar’s shape.
About new pillar:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the massive Ashoka Pillar, which weighs 9500 kg. The height of this bronze national symbol is 6.5 metres. More than 100 artisans and craftspeople from various regions of the nation prepare it. Making it took longer than nine months. The high purity metal insignia is mounted 33 metres above the earth. The National Emblem’s placement on the roof of the new Parliament House was accomplished in eight stages.
What is the controversy?
The Ashoka Pillar’s lion’s position is the subject of the argument. The opposition claims that the lions in the country’s emblem are mute and have their mouths shut. The lions of the Ashoka Pillar, which is part of the new Parliament complex, are also showing signs of aggression with open mouths.
History of Ashokan Pillar:
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In 273 BC, the Ashokan Pillar’s history began. Emperor Ashoka, the third emperor of the Maurya dynasty, ruled during that period. The realm of Emperor Ashoka stretched from Taxila to Mysore and from Iran to Bangladesh. In numerous locations, Ashoka had pillars put in during his rule. He conveyed that he is in charge of this state by doing this. These pillars are shaped like a lion.
In the pillars at Sanchi, close to Bhopal, and Sarnath, close to Varanasi, lions appear serene. Both of these symbols are thought to have been created after Ashoka embraced Buddhism. The Ashokan Pillar that has been adopted as the nation’s symbol was built in Sarnath.
This pillar’s top is occupied by four lions, all of whom are seated with their backs touching. In the National emblem, there are four lions, but only three are visible. Behind the figure, a lion is hiding. The Ashoka Pillar’s four lions stand for power, bravery, self-assurance, and pride.
The Ashoka Chakra is another element of the national anthem that was derived from the Ashoka Pillar. The national flag features the Ashoka Chakra. A picture of the Buddhist Dharmachakra can be found here. 24 spokes are on it.
An elephant faces east, a bull faces west, a horse faces south, and a lion faces north on the lower portion of the Ashoka pillar. The lotus blossom motif bears the full sign. This monument was built close to Sarnath to commemorate the spot where Buddha delivered his first speech.
What purpose do lions and Sarnath serve?
Lions are often associated with Lord Buddha in Buddhism. The location where Lord Buddha began the spread of Buddhism after becoming enlightened is now known as Sarnath. Emperor Ashoka constructed this pillar after embracing Buddhism. It was selected as a national symbol upon independence. Equal rights and social justice were also discussed.
When did this pillar get the status of a national symbol?
The Government of India adopted the Ashokan Pillar as the emblem on 26 January 1950. The Ashokan Pillar was chosen as the national symbol because it represents restrained power and peace. Ashokan Pillar is visible on important government documents, coins.
Law regarding national emblem:
The Ashokan Pillar was subject to regulations when it was deemed a national emblem in 1950. For instance, only those who hold constitutional posts are permitted to use the Ashoka Pillar. It includes the Prime Minister, Vice President, MPs, MLAs, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and other senior Indian officials. However, after retirement, no former officer, minister, MP, or MLA is permitted to use this national symbol without permission. It is not even accessible to common people. Person will be punished with either type of jail for a term that may last up to two years, a fine that may last up to 5,000 rupees, or a combination of the two in case of breach of law.