History was made today when India’s Parliament met in the new building with the introduction of the landmark Women’s Reservation Bill providing 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies. Today was Day 2 of the special session of Parliament. On Monday, Parliament met for the last time in the old building with Prime Minister Narendra Modi bidding adieu to the old and ushering in the new. Modi said, the old Parliament building will continue to be a source of inspiration for future generations, as it has witnessed 75 years of India’s march towards progress. Modi said, the echoes of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech made in the hallowed precincts on the midnight of August 14-15, 1947, will continue to inspire all countrymen.
He also remembered Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, P V Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh, who made their stellar contributions to Indian history. Modi reminded what Vajpayee had said, after losing the no-confidence motion. Atalji had then said, ‘governments may come and go, parties will be made and unmade, but this country should survive.’ Modi also reminded how during Indira Gandhi’s rule, parliament had supported the struggle for liberation of Bangladesh, and had also witnessed the assault on democracy during Emergency in 1975.
Modi said, “when I entered Parliament building for the first time as an MP in 2014, I bowed my head on the steps of the temple of democracy. I could have never imagined that a boy belonging to a poor family, living on a railway platform, would one day be able to enter Parliament.” The Prime Minister said, “this chapter of the glorious journey of our Parliament will continue to serve as a reminder of India’s potential as a thriving democracy”. Before the Prime Minister spoke, the House felicitated Modi on the successful hosting of G20 summit of world leaders.
The old Parliament building, which housed the Imperial Legislative Council during British rule, will now be converted into a museum of Indian Parliament history. I have full hopes that our members will work with new vigour and positivity in the new Parliament building, and avoid ruckus, quarrels, abuses and pandemonium that used to take place in the old building. Members of all parties should leave behind all wrong precedents in the dustbin of history, and start work on a positive note.
This will be their major contribution in ensuring that the new Parliament building reflects and fulfils the aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians. The beginning has been good, with the introduction of the historic Women’s Reservation Bill, that was cleared by Union Cabinet on Monday night and introduced in Parliament on Tuesday.
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