Artist Dinanath Bhargava who sketched national emblem died at 89

Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the national emblem Lion Capital of Ashoka and decorated the pages of the Constitutions manuscript, died at the age of 89 in Indore. Bhargava was suffering from cardiac ailments since past decade. His daughter-in-law Sapekshi Bhargava told PTI that he breathed his last yesterday. “He is survived by four children including two sons. Elder son is living in Germany.

Born on November 1, 1927 at Multai in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, Bhargava was chosen by noted painter Nandlal Bose (then the Principal of Kala Bhavan Shanti Niketan) in the group for designing the pages of the Indian Constitutions manuscript.In the late 1940s, Bhargava was a student of Kala Bhavan at Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan. Nandalal Bose, principal of Kala Bhavan -the Fine Arts department at Visva-Bharati -was entrusted the task of illustrating the cover and pages of the Constitution. Bose shortlisted around five students, including Bhargava, Kripal Singh Sekhawat, Jagdish Mittal and Gauri Bhanja (Bose’s daughter) to design the page borders. The brief was to illustrate the 34 inch borders represen ting styles from different civilisations of the sub-continent ranging from prehistoric Mohenjodaro to Indus Valley to the present. The cover was to be adorned by an image of the Lion Capital on an Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. While the Lion Capital was a three-dimension sculpture and comprised four lines atop a base with an inverted lotus below it, Bhargava was given the task to do a twodimension rendition of the Lion Capital with its motto extracted from Mundaka Upanishad -Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs).

R Sivakumar, professor of artistry at Kala Bhavan, said it was indeed a matter of pride that artists from Kala Bhavan had embellished the prestigious document. He though pointed out that he considered the page borders more interesting than the emblem as it was an adoption from a Mauryan sculpture and not an original art work.Had Nandalal Bose designed the emblem himself, I think he would have done it differently and it would have contained a touch of Bengal art and would have been more stylised than the realistic sketch that we have today.

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