The book 'Showcasing Indian Culture at G-20 shows the range and diversity of Indian culture presented to the G20 delegates through the length and breadth of the country.
Observing that it was due to the strength of Parliament that all doubts about the viability of India as a nation proved wrong, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, said the biggest achievement in the last 75 years has been the continuously growing trust of common citizens in their Parliament.
Highlighting the changing composition of Parliament with the passage of the time as it grew more inclusive with representatives from all sections of society, he said, “Inclusive atmosphere has kept manifesting the aspirations of the people with full power.” He also highlighted the contributions of women parliamentarians which have helped in enhancing the dignity of the two Houses.
The PM was speaking in the Lok Sabha on the opening day of the five-day special session of Parliament, a day before proceedings of the two Houses were shifted to the new Parliament building.
Talking about the old Parliament building, Modi mentioned that it served as the Imperial Legislative Council before India’s independence and was recognized as Parliament of India post-independence. He pointed out that even though the decision to construct this building was made by foreign rulers, it was the hard work, dedication and money spent by Indians that went towards its development.
In the journey of 75 years, he said the House has created the best of the conventions and traditions which have seen the contribution of all and witnessed by all. “We might be shifting to the new building, but this building will keep on inspiring the coming generation. As it is a golden chapter of the journey of Indian democracy,” he said.
Referring to the success of Chandrayaan-3, Modi said it brought forth another dimension of India’s capabilities which was linked with modernity, science, technology and the prowess of its scientists and the strength of 140 crore Indians.
He recalled how the House commended the nation’s efforts at the time of Non-Aligned Movement summit in the past and expressed gratitude for the acknowledgement of the success of G20 by the Chair. The PM said the success of G20 was of 140 crore Indians and not of any particular individual or party.
Pointing out the negative tendencies of a few people to create doubts about the capabilities of India, Modi stated that a consensus was achieved for the G20 Declaration and a roadmap for the future was created here.
The PM recalled that when, as the first-time MP, he came to Parliament and paid his obeisance by bowing to the building. He said that it was an emotional moment, and he could not have imagined that. “It is the power of the democracy of India that a poor child who used to earn livelihood on a railway station reached Parliament. I never imagined that the nation would give me this much love, respect, and blessings,” he said.
Talking about the contributions of his predecessors, Pandit Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, Modi said they have given new direction to the nation under their leadership and today was an occasion to highlight their achievements. The PM also touched upon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, Chandra Shekhar, Lal Krishna Advani, and others who have enriched the discussions in the House and emboldened the voice of the common citizens. He also highlighted the address by various foreign leaders in the House which brought to the fore their respect for India. He recalled the moments of pain when the nation lost three PMs while still in office – “Nehru Ji, Shastri Ji, and Indira Ji.”
Recollecting the 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament, the PM said that it was not an attack on the building but an attack on the ‘Mother of Democracy’ itself. “It was an attack on the soul of India,” he said and acknowledged the contributions of those who stood between the terrorists and the House to protect its members and paid tributes to the brave hearts.
He also remembered the journalists who have dedicated their lives to reporting the proceedings of Parliament, even without the use of the latest technology. He mentioned that bidding farewell to the old Parliament Building would be an even tougher task for them as they have been connected with the establishment more than its members.
The PM observed that the present members of the House were extremely lucky as they were getting an opportunity to become a link of the past with the future as he mentioned bidding farewell to the old building on Tuesday.