Modi inaugurates new Parliament building

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new parliament building, while 21 opposition parties boycotted the event on Sunday morning, May 28. President Droupadi Murmu and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar were also not present at the event on Sunday morning as they had not been invited. Congress party accused the government of ignoring the country’s two highest constitutional functionaries by leaving them out of the list of invitees.

New Delhi, May 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi carries the ‘Sengol’ to install it at the new Parliament building, in New Delhi on Sunday. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is also seen. (ANI Photo)

The government of India had earlier released a short video on the new Parliament building that begins by focusing on the massive ‘Ashok Stambh’ which was installed atop the new building last year. The video also showcases the new building design.

The new parliament building, a triangular complex, is located close to the heritage building built by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1927. The old Parliament will now be converted into a museum. In a statement, the Indian government has said that the new Parliament building is badly needed as the existing structure “is highly stressed” for a number of reasons including capacity, infrastructure, technology, and safety.

Accompanied by priests, Modi inaugurated the new Indian parliament building on Sunday in a ceremony steeped in religious symbolism. After dedicating the new Parliament House to the nation Modi installed a Sengol with Nandi at the top facing East-West direction in the new Parliament House. He also lit a diya and offered flowers to the Sengol.

Referring to the establishment of sacred Sengol, Modi said that in the great Chola empire, Sengol was seen as a symbol of the path of service duty and nation. He said under the guidance of Rajaji and Adheenam, this Sengol became the sacred symbol of the transfer of power. “It is our good fortune that we could restore the dignity of this sacred Sengol. This Sengol will keep on inspiring us during the proceedings of the House”, he said.

The Sengol was, however, already mired in controversy. Historians have noted that the Modi government’s claims – that the sengol was a symbol of the British handing over power to independent India on August 15, 1947 do not have evidentiary backing. “It is our good fortune that we have been able to restore the pride of the holy ‘Sengol’. Whenever proceedings start in this House the ‘Sengol’ will inspire us,” Modi said later in the day.

Congress questioned BJP’s assertion that the 5-ft-long scepter or “Sengol” symbolized the transfer of power at the moment of India’s Independence. BJP had dismissed the criticism saying the opposition party disliked Indian culture.

The hexagonal new building is part of a remodeling of the heart of New Delhi. Modi had declared that he aimed to remove the remanences of British colonial rule from India’s capital. “India is not only a democratic nation but also the mother of democracy. This is not just a building… this is the temple of democracy that gives the world a message of India’s determination,” Modi said.

The inauguration of the building was preceded by a multi-faith prayer ceremony. Modi later entered the chamber to install the ceremonial scepter accompanied by religious chants. Modi said that this is not merely a building but is a reflection of the aspirations and dreams of 140 crore Indians.

“This is a temple of our democracy that gives a message of India’s resolution to the world. This new Parliament building connects planning to reality, policy to realization, willpower to execution, and sankalp to siddhi,” said Modi. He added that the new building will witness the sunrise of Aatmnirbhar Bharat and will see the realization of a developed nation. The Prime Minister said that this new building is an example of the coexistence of the ancient and modern.

The new Parliament building is designed to enable 888 members to sit in the Lok Sabha. In the present building of the Parliament, there is a provision for the sitting of 543 Members in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha.

“More than just a building, the new Parliament reflects the aspirations and dreams of 1.4 billion people. It sends a powerful message to the world about India’s unwavering determination,” Prime Minister Modi said in his first address in the new Parliament.

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