The National Emblem and its Importance

Published on :July 29, 2022

Although we have known and recognised our National Emblem for years, an issue regarding the National Emblem arose recently when one was unveiled on top of the new Parliament Building in India. After the Prime Minister unveiled the National Emblem, the concern that arose in the minds of all Indians in unification was the representation portrayed through the emblem.

The national emblem is an adaptation of the Lion Capital, originally found atop the Ashoka Column at Sarnath, established in 250 BC.[1] It was chosen as a symbol of contemporary India’s reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.[2] If we stress on the “world peace and goodwill”, the recent issue seems a genuine case of concern. Section 6(2)(d) of the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 provides for the display of the Emblem on public buildings. On the basis of this provision, the National Emblem has been instilled on the top of the new Parliament building.

The idea behind the emblem was to represent peace which is why the original emblem consisted of calm and composed lions whereas the emblem on the top of the new Parliament building depicts angry and ferocious lions which do not stand in consensus with the original purpose behind representation.

By adopting this sculpture as the National Emblem, the Republic of India recognizes its allegiance to the philosophies of Buddha, attested the positive changes Ashoka brought to his kingdom and reaffirms its commitment towards upholding peace and tolerance.[3] With this being the basis of concern, a petition has been filed by two lawyers at the Supreme Court claiming that the ferocious-looking lions are defying the original objective of the National Emblem. According to the petition, the Central Government has “manifested gross arbitrariness in violating the sanctity of the state Emblem”.[4] This misrepresentation of personalities of the lions creates an interference in the philosophies originally instilled in the emblem.


[2] Ibid.