Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri Om Birla ji, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri Harivansh ji, Hon’ble Members of Parliament, all senior public representatives, distinguished guests, all other dignitaries, and my dear countrymen!
In every nation’s journey of development, there are moments that become immortalized forever. Some dates etch an indelible signature on the forehead of history. Today, the 29th of May, 2023, is one such auspicious occasion. The country is celebrating ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ on the occasion of 75 years of its independence. The people of India have presented their democracy with the gift of this new Parliament House in this ‘Amrit Mahotsav’. An all-faith prayer was held in the morning in the Parliament House complex. I congratulate all the countrymen for this golden moment of Indian democracy.
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 firm resolve to the world. This new Parliament House will prove to be an important link connecting plans with reality, policies with implementation, will power with action power and determination with success. This new building will serve as a medium to materialize the dreams of our freedom fighters. This new building will witness the dawn of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’. This new building will witness the realization of the aspirations of a developed India. This new building is also an ideal representation of both the modern and ancient coexistence.
New models can be established only by treading new paths. Today, a New India is setting new goals and forging new paths. There is a new enthusiasm and a new zeal. There is a new journey and a new perspective. The direction is new and the vision is new. The resolve is new, the confidence is new. And today, once again the entire world is looking at India, the determination of India, the prowess of the people of India, the spirit of the Indian people, with a sense of respect and hope. When India progresses, the world progresses. This new Parliament House will not only beckon India’s development but also echo the call for global progress.
On this historic occasion, the Holy Sengol has also been established in this new building of Parliament some time ago. Sengol was considered a symbol of the path of duty, service and nationhood in the Great Chola Empire. This Sengol became the symbol of the transfer of power under the guidance of Rajaji and the sages of Adheenam. The saints of Adheenam, who came especially from Tamil Nadu, were present in the Parliament House this morning to bless us. I respectfully bow down to them again. This sacred Sengol has been established in the Lok Sabha under their guidance. Recently, the media has shared a lot of information related to its history. I don’t want to go into its details. But I believe it is our good fortune that we have been able to restore the glory and dignity of this sacred Sengol. Whenever proceedings begin in this Parliament House, this Sengol will continue to inspire us all.
India is not only a democratic nation but also the mother of democracy. Today India is also a major base of global democracy. Democracy is not just a system for us; it is a culture, an idea, a tradition. Our Vedas teach us the democratic ideals of Sabhas and Samitis. The system of ‘ganas’ and republics is mentioned in texts like the Mahabharata. We have lived through republics like Vaishali. We have considered Lord Basaveshwara’s ‘Anubhava Mantapa’ as our pride. The inscription of 900 AD found in Tamil Nadu still surprises everyone. Our democracy is our inspiration, our Constitution is our resolve. Our Parliament is the best representative of this inspiration and resolution. And this Parliament declares the rich culture that the country represents in the form of शेते निपद्य-मानस्य चराति चरतो भगः चरैवेति, चरैवेति- चरैवेति॥ It means that the one who stops, his luck also stops. But the one who keeps going, his fate moves ahead, touches new heights. And therefore, one should keep going. Our India started its new journey after losing a lot after servitude. That journey has gone through many ups and downs, overcoming many challenges, and has now entered the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. This ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence is the ‘Amrit Kaal’ to forge new dimensions of development while preserving the heritage. This ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence is the ‘Amrit Kaal’ to give a new direction to the country. This ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence is the ‘Amrit Kaal’ to fulfil infinite dreams and innumerable aspirations. The call of this ‘Amrit Kaal’ is —
मुक्त मातृभूमि को नवीन मान चाहिए।
नवीन पर्व के लिए, नवीन प्राण चाहिए।
मुक्त गीत हो रहा, नवीन राग चाहिए।
नवीन पर्व के लिए, नवीन प्राण चाहिए।
(The free motherland deserves new values.
For the new festival, we need new spirits.
As a new song is being sung, we need a new melody.
For the new festival, we need new spirits.)
Therefore, this workplace, which is going to make India’s future bright, should also be equally innovative and modern.
There was a time when India was counted among the most prosperous and splendid nations of the world. India’s architecture proclaimed India’s expertise from India’s cities to palaces, from India’s temples to sculptures. From the town planning of the Indus Civilization to the Mauryan pillars and stupas, from the magnificent temples built by the Cholas to the reservoirs and large dams, India’s ingenuity amazed travellers from all over the world. But hundreds of years of slavery took away this pride from us. There was also a time when we started getting fascinated by the constructions in other countries. New India of 21st century, India full of high spirit, is leaving behind that mindset of slavery. Today, India is once again turning that glorious stream of ancient times towards itself. And this new Parliament House has become a living symbol of this effort. Today every Indian is full of pride looking at the new Parliament House. This building has heritage as well as architecture. There is art as well as skill in this building. There is culture in it as well as the voice of the Constitution.
You can see the interior of the Lok Sabha is based on the national bird peacock. The interior of the Rajya Sabha is based on the national flower lotus. And our national tree Banyan is also there in the premises of the Parliament. This new building has accommodated the diversity of different parts of our country. Granite and sandstone brought from Rajasthan have been used in it. The wooden work is from Maharashtra. The artisans of Bhadohi in UP have hand woven the carpets. In a way, we will see the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ in every particle of this building.
We all know how difficult it was for everyone to carry out their work in the old building of the Parliament. There were problems related to technology as well as with seating arrangements. For the last two and a half decades, the country was continuously debating the need for a new Parliament building. And we also need to consider where will people sit when the number of seats will increase and the number of Members of Parliament will increase in the near future?
And therefore, it was the need of the hour that a new building of the Parliament should be constructed. And I am delighted to see that this magnificent building is equipped with modern facilities. As you can see, sunlight is directly entering this hall even at this moment. Full care has been taken care to ensure that electricity consumption is minimized and there are gadgets with the latest technology everywhere.
This morning, I had the opportunity to meet a group of workers who were involved in the construction of this Parliament House. This Parliament House has also provided employment to around 60,000 workers. They have put their sweat and hard work into building this new structure. I am pleased to see that a dedicated digital gallery has been created in Parliament to honour their labour, which is perhaps a first of its kind in the world. Now their contribution to the construction of Parliament has also become immortal.
If any expert assesses the past nine years, he will find that these nine years have been about new constructions and the welfare of the poor in India. Today, we take pride in the construction of the new Parliament House, but I am also satisfied with the construction of four crore homes for the poor in the past nine years. When we look at this magnificent building and hold our heads high, I am also satisfied with the construction of 11 crore toilets in the past nine years, which protected the dignity of women and made them hold their heads high. As we discuss the facilities in this Parliament House today, I am satisfied that we have constructed more than 400,000 kilometers of roads to connect villages in the past nine years. When we look at this eco-friendly building and feel happy, I am satisfied that we have constructed more than 50,000 ‘Amrit Sarovars’ (water reservoirs) to save every drop of water. As we celebrate and rejoice the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in this new Parliament House, I am satisfied that we have also built more than 30,000 new Panchayat Bhavans (village council buildings) in the country. In other words, from Panchayat Bhavans to the Parliament House, our dedication remains the same, our inspiration remains unchanged.
The development of the country is synonymous with the development of its people.
You would recall that I said ‘this is the time, the right time’ when I addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15. There comes a time in the history of every country, when the consciousness of the country is awakened anew. Reflecting on the 25 years before independence, the time leading up to 1947, a similar period occurred. Gandhi ji’s non-cooperation movement instilled confidence in the entire nation. Gandhi ji connected every Indian with the resolve for self-rule. It was a time when every Indian wholeheartedly dedicated himself to the cause of independence, and we witnessed the outcome of this in India’s freedom in 1947. This ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence is also a significant milestone in India’s history. In 25 years from now, India will celebrate 100 years of independence. We also have 25 years of ‘Amrit’ period ahead of us. Our goal is to make India a developed nation by working together in these 25 years. The goal is ambitious, the path challenging, but it requires every citizen to wholeheartedly commit, take new initiatives, make new resolutions, and embrace a new momentum. And history bears witness to the fact that the belief of Indians is not limited to India alone. The struggle for our independence had ignited a new consciousness in many countries around the world. Through our fight for independence, India not only gained freedom but also inspired several nations on the path to freedom. India’s belief supported the belief of other nations. Therefore, when a diverse country like India, with its vast population and numerous challenges, moves forward with confidence, it also serves as an inspiration to many countries around the world. Every success of India will become a cause for inspiration, as a symbol of success for different countries in different parts of the world in the days to come. If India swiftly eradicates poverty today, it also provides inspiration for many countries to overcome poverty. The resolution for a developed India will become a source of strength for many other nations. Hence, the responsibility of India becomes even greater.
The first condition for success is to have belief in oneself. This new Parliament House will elevate that belief to new heights. It will serve as a source of inspiration for all of us in the building of a developed India. This Parliament House will awaken the sense of duty in every Indian. I believe that the representatives who sit in this Parliament will strive to give a new direction to democracy with renewed inspiration. We must move forward with the spirit of “Nation First” – इदं राष्ट्राय इदं न मम. We must prioritize our responsibilities — कर्तव्यमेव कर्तव्यं, अकर्तव्यं न कर्तव्यं. We must uphold our duties above all else. We must set an example through our conduct — यद्यदा-चरति श्रेष्ठः तत्तदेव इतरो जनः We must constantly strive for self-improvement — उद्धरेत् आत्मना आत्मानम्। We must create our own path — अप्प दीपो भव: We must discipline ourselves, introspect, and practice self-restraint — तपसों हि परम नास्ति, तपसा विन्दते महत। We must make the welfare of the people our life’s mantra — लोकहितं मम करणीयम्. When we fulfil our responsibilities with honesty in this new Parliament House, the citizens of the country will also find new inspiration.
This new Parliament will provide a fresh energy and strength to the world’s largest democracy. Our workers have made this Parliament House magnificent with their hard work and sweat. Now, it is the responsibility of all of us parliamentarians to make it even more divine with our dedication. As a nation, the resolve of all the 140 crore Indians is the life force of this new Parliament. Every decision made here will shape and adorn the coming centuries. Every decision made here will empower the future generations. Every decision made here will lay the foundation for a bright future of India. This is where the path to empowerment of the poor, Dalits, marginalized communities, tribal communities, Divyangs, and every disadvantaged family traverses. Every brick, every wall of this new Parliament House is dedicated to the welfare of the poor. Over the next 25 years, the new laws enacted in this new Parliament House will transform India into a developed nation. The laws enacted in this Parliament will help alleviate poverty in India. The laws enacted in this Parliament will create new opportunities for the youth and empower women. I believe that this new Parliament House will serve as the foundation for the creation of a new India. It will be a prosperous, strong, and developed India that adheres to principles of policy, justice, truth, dignity, and duty. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the citizens of India on the inauguration of the new Parliament House. Thank you!