The National Emblem of India

The National Emblem of India is one the most prominent National Symbols of India that gives a sense of pride to about 1.3 billion Indians. An Emblem generally stands for a symbolic representation of a state, institution or family. The Emblem of India is a heraldic symbol that is restricted to only official use of the Indian administration. On 20th December 2005, an act namely the 'State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act' was brought into force to prevent its misuse. As this symbol represents democratic authority and constitutional philosophies of an administration, there is a great need for respect from the citizen.

History of Emblem of India:


The Emblem of India was adopted on 26th January 1950 as a representation of Republic of India. This symbol was inspired by the Mauryan Emperor of 3rd Century BC, Ashoka. He was well known for his mettle and victories on the battlefield. He was also notorious for his cruelty ferociousness. He later realised his mistakes, when he saw lakhs of people including his soldiers and civilians dying in the Kalinga war. This bloodshed was so disturbing that he adopted non-violence and Buddhism. He then built many sculptures including the ‘Lion Capital’ pillar that symbolizes Buddhist ideologies. It sank and disappeared over the years and was later excavated by, a German Civil Engineer, Friedrich Oscar Oertel, in 1905. The Indian National Emblem is inspired by this very sculpture - the ‘Lion Capital’.

Design of the Emblem:


The ‘Lion Capital’ popularized by Asoka has now become well-known as ‘Ashoka Pillar’. This sculpture built from a yellow sandstone is a fine piece of art. It has four Asiatic lions, of which only three tend to be visible in the two-dimensional view. An Ashoka Chakra with 24 spokes between a bull on the right and a horse on the left can be seen, below the lions sitting back to back. In the actual three dimensional views, there are a total of four animals including elephant which are separated by the Ashoka Chakra. Below this, is written ‘Satyamev Jayate’, which says ‘Truth always triumphs' and stands as a main motive of the administration’. The Emblem in itself is a beauty in the design besides the significance of each element present in the symbol. The lions facing the four directions represents the vigilance of the country. The animals present below the lions are also of high prominence as they refer to the protectors of the four directions North, South, East, and West as Lion, Horse, Elephant, and the Bull respectively. The Ashoka Chakra indicates the 24 hours of a day and emphasis on the importance of time as it is irreversible and inescapable. This Emblem in a whole is a symbol of equality in all spheres.

Creative brains behind the Emblem:


The author of one of the national symbols of India- National anthem, is well known but unfortunately, little is known about the people who contributed to the design of the Emblem of India. The renounced Kala Bhavan’s Fine Art Department led by Nandalal Bose was once given the Indian constitution’s cover and pages illustrating work. Nandalal selected Dinanath and four others who designed the first few hundreds of odd pages with pencil and brush. Thus, there is an essence of and history and young creative minds behind the Emblem.

Hope you enjoyed the article.