Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the inaugural of the new Parliament building showcased his vision of the rise of India as a civilizational state, which is bound to shape the modern world.
Digging deep into its past, PM Modi focused on the sacred Sengol which has been installed in the Lok Sabha, as a symbol of modern India’s firm rootedness with its civilizational values.
The Prime Minister linked the presence of the sacred Sengol with the timeless values distilled from the Chola empire.
“In the Great Chola Empire, Sengol was considered a symbol of the path of duty, the path of service, the path of the nation. Under the guidance of the sages of Rajaji and Aadinam, this Sengol became the symbol of the transfer of power… Whenever proceedings begin in this Parliament House, this Sengol will continue to inspire us all,” the Prime Minister observed.
— Doordarshan National दूरदर्शन नेशनल (@DDNational) May 28, 2023
The inauguration of the new parliamentary building is sequel to a string of steps including lionising India’s first home minister Sardar Patel, honouring Subhash Bose by installing his bust near India Gate, re-naming of Raj Path to Kartavya Path, as fresh national symbols of a rising New India.
In his address, PM Modi further developed the thought that India was not a follower alone but the mother of democracy—a thought he had aired during the world summit of democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden.
“India is not only a democratic nation but also the mother of democracy… Today India is also a big base of global democracy. Democracy is not just a system for us, it is a culture, an idea, a tradition.”
The Prime Minster took ownership of the country’s democracy by pointing out India’s democracy is a Vedic inheritance, implying that Indian democracy is not rooted in the west. “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 shown republics like Vaishali by living. We have considered Lord Basaveshwara’s Anubhav 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. If anyone is the best representative of this inspiration, this resolution, then it is our Parliament.”
The Prime Minister’s focus on India’s civilizational rootedness is the feedstock of nurturing his other idea of decolonising the mind as the basis India’s rise as developed nation (Viksit Bharat) by 2047. During his seminal address on August 15, PM Modi had listed eradicating slavish mentality as the five attributes which will lead to the emergence of a Viksit Bharat in the next 25 years. He had called the intervening quarter century following the 75 years of India’s independence as Amritkal that will yield a Viksit Bharat.
“After slavery, our India started its new journey after losing a lot. That journey has gone through many ups and downs, overcoming many challenges, has entered the golden age of freedom. This Amritkal of freedom is the Amrtikal to forge new dimensions of development while preserving the heritage.”
संसद की नई इमारत इस बात का जीवंत प्रतीक है कि 21वीं सदी का नया भारत गुलामी की सोच को पीछे छोड़, अपने प्राचीन गौरव और वैभव को तेजी से हासिल करने में जुटा है। pic.twitter.com/8skZKYqq5P
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 28, 2023
Echoing the story of India’s freedom struggle which triggered a global movement of decolonisation, the Prime Minister said that India’s ongoing rise will also leave a fundamental imprint on the international system.
“And today once again the whole world is looking at India, the determination of India, the intensity of the people of India, the spirit of the Indian people, with a sense of respect and hope. When India moves forward, the world moves forward. This new building of the Parliament will call for the development of the world along with the development of India.”
Symbolising a paradigm shift, the transition of the old to the new, the Prime Minister said that this new parliament building will witness the “sunrise of self-reliant India”. “This new building will see the fulfilment of the resolutions of a developed India. This new building is also an ideal for the coexistence of the new and the old.”
Describing the inauguration of the new parliamentary as a historic event PM Modi said: “This new building will become a means of realizing the dreams of our freedom fighters. Some moments come in the development journey of every country, which become immortal forever. Some dates become indelible signatures of history on the forehead of time. Today, this day of May 28, 2023, is such an auspicious occasion.”