On the first day of a special parliamentary session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected on the important decisions and nostalgic memories associated with the old Parliament building, setting the tone for a transition to the new building, and in turn, to a new era. The session, spanning five days, thus symbolizes more than just a change in location.he Prime Minister in his address highlighted the “historic decisions” made during his government’s tenure. He highlighted the abrogation of Article 370, a move that redefined the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian Union, and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a game-changing economic reform. He also praised the implementation of ‘One Rank-One Pension,’ a significant policy aimed at ensuring equitable retirement benefits for the armed forces. The achievements, he said, were a testament to the parliament’s role as a catalyst for transformation.
Modi fondly recollected the old building’s “bitter-sweet memories,” including the 2001 terror attack on Parliament. He paid tribute to the security personnel who had sacrificed their lives in defence of the building, underlining that the attack was not merely on a building but on the “Mother of Democracy.” The Prime Minister also took a personal journey down memory lane, reminiscing about his humble beginnings as a child from a poor family, who grew up on a railway platform.
As the parliament shifts to a new expansive building, it is a momentous occasion for the country. It is true that the old Parliament building in India holds significant historical importance, as it witnessed major milestones in the nation’s history, such as the declaration of independence from Britain in 1947 and the adoption of the Constitution that established India as a democratic republic. However, due to the country’s growing population, the old building no longer fulfilled the requirements of being the seat of government for the world’s most populous country. One of the main challenges with the old Parliament building was its limited space to accommodate the 543 members of the lower house, known as the Lok Sabha.
As India’s population continues to grow, the number of legislators is expected to increase in the coming years, further exacerbating the space constraints. Here’s hoping that 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. The new parliament building will be witness to the debates, decisions and moments contributing to India’s steady rise in the comity of nations.
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