National Insignia

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National Insignia

1. National Emblem

The state emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion, capital of Ashoka the Emperor as preserved in the Sarnath Museum.

The Government adopted the emblem on 26th January, 1950, the day when India became a republic.

In the original of Sarnath Capital, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculpture in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels (chakras) over a bell – shaped lotus.

Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).

In the state emblem adopted by the Government only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view.

The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on the right and a horse on the left and the outlines of the other wheels on the extreme right and left.

The words, Satyameva Jayate from the Mundaka Upanishad meaning ‘Truth alone triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

2. National Flag

The National Flag is a horizontal tri – colour of deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion.

The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to three.

In the centre of the white band is a wheel, in navy blue.

Its design is that of die wheel (Chakra) which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka.

Its diameter approximates the width of the white band. It has 24 spokes.

The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22nd July, 1947.

Its use and display are regulated by a code.

3. National Anthem

Rabindranath Tagore’s song Jana-gana-mana was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24th January 1950 and gave Vande Mataram – the national song equal honour.

It was first sung on 27th Dec. 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.

The first stanza (out of 5 stanzas) of the song forms the National Anthem.

Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds.

A shorter version consisting of the first and last lines of the stanza takes 20 seconds to play and it is played only on certain occasions.General Studies Question Bank CD

“Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka jaya he
Tava Subha name jage,
Tava Subha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya-gatha.
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka, jaya he
Jaya he, Jaya he, Jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he.”

4. National song

The song Vande Mataram, composed by Bankimchandra Chatterji, has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana.

The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

“Vande Mataram,
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashymalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyothsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim, Sukadam,
varadam, Mataram!”

English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo (in Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library Popular Edition 1972, vol. 8), is

“I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
Her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet speech,
The mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.”

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