The national emblem of the nation has become the centre of conversation since the unveiling of the new national emblem installed atop the new Parliament building.
This emblem, like every other decision taken by this government, has been divisive.
Many see the emblem emblematic of the new India envisioned by the ruling party.
A dominant and much more aggressive India.
While the opposition objects to the new structure, accusing the Centre of replacing the “graceful and regally confident” Ashokan lions with those having menacing and aggressive postures.
But not many know about how this emblem of the Ashokan Era became such an integral part of government structure.
Nor do people know about the original artist of this piece.
In this article, we will try to understand more about the original artist of this piece.- Dinanath Bhargava.
Who is Dinanath Bhargava?
Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that had designed the original national emblem of India.
Born on November 1, 1927, Dinanath Bhargava belonged to the small town of Multai in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh.
When India gained independence in 1947, he was in his early 20s and was pursuing a 3-year Diploma in Fine Arts at Shantiniketan.
It was there where he met his mentor Nandlal Bose.
Impressed by Bhargava’s talent, Bose handpicked him as a member of the group responsible for designing the pages of the Indian Constitution’s manuscript.
The Difficult Task
Nandlal Bose was a perfectionist, he wanted the design to be as realistic as possible.
To make the drawing as real as possible, for about a month, every day, Bhargava commuted from Shantiniketan to the Kolkata zoo (about 100 km away), just to study the live lions, their mannerisms, countenance, body language etc.
Despite these efforts Nandlal only he was completely satisfied with the drawings did he give Bhargava the big task: Designing the emblem for the first page of the Constitution.
On 26 January 1950, India adopted Bhargava’s design, the Lion Capital of Ashoka, as the national emblem.
Bhargvas’s other artistic contribution.
Bose also gave Bhargava the responsibility of decorating the first 30 pages of the Constitution’s first copy.
Bhargava used everything from stones to the actual spray of gold (prepared by mixing the pure gold powder with wild gum and babul) to touch up the pages.
Bhargava later recalled how he never saw a complete version of the manuscript back then as each time a section of the volume was complete, Nandlal Babu would send the copy to Delhi.
He finally did see it in 2006; some 58 years later, at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
It is a tragedy that such great artists never get the limelight and respect they deserve and if they get it, it is too late.
Dinanath Bhargava died at the age of 89 in Indore.
It has been more than 6 years since his death and we listen about this man because of a controversy.
Even if he is not mortally present among us his soul remains with us because of the all the precious art he has left behind.
Credits:- NDTV, Zee News and Better India Foundation.
Featured Image Credits:- The Logical Indian.