The interior of the new parliament building to capture the vastness of India in images, arts, installations

An iconic 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 grace the interiors of the new parliament building. The Union Ministry of Culture has formed three committees to plan the decor for the interiors of the new building which will include art installations, paintings, murals and inscriptions depicting the endless spectrum of Indian society. The juries bring together academics, historians, artists, various experts and civil servants from the Ministries of Culture and Urbanism for the sourcing, monitoring and installation of works of art that will decorate the premises.

”One of the panels is an advisory committee which has been tasked with the research and art installation in the new parliament building,” sources said. These works of art are said to come from around six sections of the structure – a guardian statue at the gates (its details have yet to be finalized), a constitution gallery having a replica of the Constitution, galleries depicting vibrant Indian culture, ceremonial hearths, and for both houses. The other two committees are led by Culture Secretary Govind Mohan and Sachidanand Joshi, Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA). These commissions were formed to identify, approve and oversee the content of art installations in the new parliament building. Besides officials from the Ministry of Culture, Mohan will have Indian classical dancer Bharata Natyam Padma Subramanyam, archaeologist KK Mohammad, former head of Prasar Bharati Surya Prakash and others in his team. Joshi will lead a team of experts including historian Gauri Krishnan, MS University Vadodara Vice-Chancellor VK Srivastava, and National Gallery of Modern Art Director General Adwaita Gadanayak. This committee will approve and oversee the content of art installations in the new building.

”The new parliament will showcase the country’s culture and diversity. It will capture the ethos of India at grassroots level so that every Indian will feel part of it,” said a senior member of one of the committees. “It will also encompass the beliefs of the whole country. But while doing this we have to keep in mind that the artwork is not for a museum or an exhibition but for the parliament and we have to maintain its dignity,” he said .

The mandate of the committees is to ensure that the full spectrum of India’s heritage, history and traditions are reflected in the decor.

“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 of this will be coordinated, monitored and implemented by a panel of experts and officials,’ another member said.

The new building, due to be completed this year, will have a triangular shape to reflect the importance of triangles as sacred geometry in various religions, while its interiors will have three national symbols as main themes — lotus, peacock, and banyan tree. . The theme of the Lok Sabha bedroom will be the national bird peacock while the Rajya Sabha bedroom will be themed with the national lotus flower. The theme of the central lounge courtyard will be the national banyan tree. The national emblem will crown the new Parliament building. The ceiling of the new building will have frescoes like that of the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the carpets will have traditional patterns, instead of the current single-color carpets.

To retain some of the features of the existing building, the interior walls of the new one will be marked with shlokas.

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Betty K. Park