INDIA’S lawmakers bid farewell to a British-era Parliament building and moved to a new facility next door, on September 19. With this historic move, a new era in India’s tryst with destiny has begun.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the first day of the Special Session—the last to be held in the old Parliament building— the move symbolised more than just a change in location.
The new temple of democracy ushers in a more vigorous democracy which is inclusive and at the same time truly reflective of the diversity of India. “It will be witness to the debates, decisions and moments contributing to India’s steady rise in the comity of nations.” PM Modi said.
As the proceedings shifted to the new building, the Prime Minister announced that the old building will be called “Samvidhan Sadan” (Constitution House).
“We shouldn’t just call it the ‘old Parliament’. I request, if both of you permit, that this building should be known as ‘Samvidhan Sadan’ so that it always serves as an inspiration for us,” PM Modi told the MPs. The old Parliament building, which was designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and was completed in 1927, witnessed some of the great
New Hope, New Confidence
moments in Indian history like the passing of India’s Constitution.
In his farewell address to members of Parliament a day ahead of shifting, PM Modi said that it was an occasion to recollect and reminisce the parliamentary journey of 75 years of India.
While inaugurating the new Parliament building, PM Modi had promised that every decision taken in the new Parliament will empower generations to come. “This is not just a building. It is a reflection of the aspirations and dreams of 140 crore Indians. This is the temple of our democracy, giving the message of India’s determination to the world,” he said. During his last nine years in power, PM Modi has demonstrated that he walks the talk on inclusive development of India and its vision of “One world, one family”.
He dazzled the world by showcasing India’s prowess during the G20 Summit just a week ago by expanding it to include the 55-country African Union.
He proved his commitment to inclusive democracy immediately after the two Houses started their sittings in the new building by ensuring smooth passage of contentious women’s reservation Bill.