Acutely aware of the history unfolding before his eyes and of his own presiding role as the overseer of the transition from the Nehru epoch to the Modi era, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ‘immortalised’ his moment of personal glory. The new Parliament building he inaugurated on Sunday may mean different things to different people on the political spectrum, but to the PM himself, it represented the arduous journey of a political party that, in its nebulous form, always remained on the periphery of the freedom struggle, thanks to its cultural arm, the RSS.
Reflection of the dreams of 140 crore Indians
That is, until now, when it has been able to reinvent itself by appropriating various symbols and icons which serve to underscore its distinct Indian ethos. Also, more importantly, PM Modi has become synonymous with a resurgent India. “The new Parliament is a reflection of the aspirations and dreams of 140 crore Indians. This is a temple of our democracy that sends out the message of India’s resolve to the world. There are a few moments in every nation’s history that are immortalised. Some dates become indelible signatures on the face of time. May 28, 2023, is one such day,” Modi asserted.
In a speech delivered from the grand and cavernous Lok Sabha hall decorated with a peacock motif, Modi shared his ‘vision of new India’. “Every decision taken here will lay the foundation of India’s glorious future... the route to empowering the poor, Dalits, backward, tribals, Divyang and other marginalised sections passes through here,” he said, adding, “every brick and wall of this Parliament building should be dedicated to the welfare of the poor”.
NEW TEMPLE OF DEMOCRACY OPENS
Not just that, India rightfully sees itself as a country on the threshold of inspiring the progress of other nations. He equated the 25-year period – from now until the centenary of India’s independence in 2047 – to the period between Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement, which had ended in 1922, and the country’s freedom.
Gandhi’s movement had led to a ‘new consciousness’ among the masses and filled them with confidence as they devoted themselves to freedom, he said, adding that every citizen should similarly work towards a developed India in the next 25 years. PM Modi sees India at an inflexion point, bending the ‘stream of ancient glory’ in its direction again.
“Every Indian is proud today, looking at the new Parliament. It represents heritage and architecture, art and skill, culture and the voice of Constitution,” he said, lauding the use of material from different parts of the country in the construction of the building to symbolise ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’.