A signature statue at the entrance, a constitutional gallery showcasing India’s journey as a democracy, and artworks depicting the country’s diverse culture and traditions will embellish the interiors of the new parliament building. The Union Culture Ministry has formed three committees for planning the decor of the interiors of the new building which will include art installations, paintings, wall art, and inscriptions depicting the unending range of Indian society. The panels have academicians, historians, artists, various experts, and officials from the Culture and Urban Development Ministries for sourcing, monitoring, and installing the artworks that would decorate the premises.
”One of the panels is an advisory committee that has been assigned the task of research and art installation in the new parliament building,” sources said. These artworks would be sourced for broadly six sections of the structure — a guardian statue at the gates (its details are yet to be finalized), a constitution gallery having a replica of the Constitution, galleries depicting the vibrant Indian culture, ceremonial foyers, and for both houses. The two other committees are headed by Culture Secretary Govind Mohan and Sachidanand Joshi, member secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA). These panels have been formed to identify, approve and supervise the content of art installations in the new parliament building. Apart from officials from the culture ministry, Mohan will have in his team Indian classical Bharata Natyam dancer Padma Subramanyam, archaeologist K K Mohammad, former Prasar Bharati chief Surya Prakash, and others. Joshi will lead a team of experts including historian Gauri Krishnan, Vadodara’s MS University’s vice-chancellor VK Srivastava, and Director General of National Gallery of Modern Art Adwaita Gadanayak. This committee will approve and supervise the content of art installations in the new building.
”The new parliament will showcase the culture and diversity of the country. It will capture the ethos of India at the grassroots level so that every Indian feels associated with it,” a senior member of one of the committees said. “It will also encompass beliefs of the entire country. But while doing this we have to keep in mind that the artwork is not meant for a museum or exhibition but parliament and we have to maintain its dignity,” he said.
The mandate of the committees is to ensure that the entire spectrum of India’s heritage, history, and traditions are reflected in the décor.
”From Vedas to Yoga to Upanishads, Sufi and folk culture, Kabirpath, everything will be part of the interiors of the new parliament building. It will also include art installations. And all this will be coordinated, monitored, and implemented by a panel of experts and officials,” another member said.
The new building, expected to be completed by this year, will have a triangular shape to reflect the importance of triangles as being a sacred geometry in various religions, while its interiors will have three national symbols as their main themes — lotus, peacock, and banyan tree. The theme of the Lok Sabha chamber will be the national bird peacock while the Rajya Sabha chamber will have the national flower lotus as its theme. The theme of the Central Lounge courtyard will be the national tree banyan. The National Emblem will crown the new Parliament building. The ceiling of the new building will have fresco paintings like that in the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the carpets will have traditional designs, instead of the current single-color carpets.
To retain some of the characteristics of the existing building, the interior walls of the new one will have shlokas inscribed on them.