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India’s Parliament: Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building in May, but there has been no progress on its utilization since then
Following a program celebrating the old Parliament’s heritage on Tuesday, the session will be moved to the new facility.
Amidst criticism from opposition leaders, a special session is being organized, with their claims that the government has not been transparent about the week’s agenda.
According to the government, they have identified eight bills for discussion during this session, although this agenda might be altered or expanded during the week.
Opposition leaders are questioning the necessity of this special session when Members of Parliament are scheduled to convene for the winter session later in the year.
Normally, Indian MPs convene in Parliament three times annually, including a budget session, a monsoon session, and a winter session.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi marked the beginning of the special session by commemorating India’s Parliament legacy since 1947 when India gained independence from British rule. The government has arranged various events to celebrate India’s 75th independence anniversary.
“PM Modi spoke of leaving the previous Parliament as a “emotional moment,” pointing out its long history and potential to serve as an example for younger generations. The safeguarding of the public’s faith in democracy, he said, is this Parliament’s greatest achievement. He also highlighted India’s achievements such as a successful moon landing and hosting the G20 summit“.
While some opposition politicians recalled the previous India’s Parliament, they also lambasted the Modi administration for avoiding questions and persecuting political opponents.
Before the special session, Prime Minister Modi had hinted that its duration might be short but would include important decisions.
Special sessions are rare occurrences, usually called by the government for specific events like celebrating parliamentary or national milestones, as explained by legislative expert Chakshu Roy.
A “tentative agenda” for the session was recently revealed by the administration in response to complaints from the opposition. It featured debate of four legislation, including one that is divisive and may change how India’s Chief Election Commissioner is chosen.
Opposition parties have raised concerns about this bill, labeling it as “undemocratic” and suggesting that it could undermine the independence of the Election Commission and its officials. However, this particular bill was not included in the list of items for discussion during the all-party meeting held on Sunday.
A Beacon of Democracy
The foundation of India’s democracy has been the historic Parliament building, formally known as the Sansad Bhavan. This spectacular building’s construction started in 1921 and was finished in 1927. The renowned British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the building as part of the larger plan for New Delhi’s construction, conceived during British colonial rule.
The Old India’s Parliament Building Preserving India’s Democratic Heritage
The historic events that changed India’s course have all taken place in the old Parliament building. It was in the Central Hall of this iconic structure that India’s Constituent Assembly held its sessions from December 1946 to January 1950, meticulously crafting the Constitution of India, which came into effect on January 26, 1950. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Patel, among others, participated in significant discussions on this holy ground to influence the future of the newly independent country.
The structure was crucial in the process of moving from colonial authority to independence. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, addressed the country from the ancient India’s Parliament building’s ramparts on August 15, 1947, ushering in a new era.
Evolution and Modernization
The political landscape of India changed and developed along with it. Despite being steeped in history, the old India’s Parliament building had trouble adjusting to the expanding ranks of legislators and the shifting demands of a contemporary democracy. This made it necessary to build a new Parliament building, which was opened in 2022.
The Future of the Old Parliament Building
With the opening of the new Parliament building, the previous one has lost its primary legislative function. However, it continues to be a representation of India’s democratic past and is home to the Parliament Library, a wealth of information.
India’s prime minister praised the country’s Moon landing and its hosting of the G20 summit in his speech