New Delhi: As the golden rays of the morning sun gently kissed the historic Samsad Bhawan, it marked the end of an era, bidding a poignant farewell to a place that had borne witness to the heartbeat of India's democracy for the past 75 years.
Speaker Om Birla stood before a hushed gathering of parliamentarians, dignitaries, and the nation at large, his words resonating with the weight of history and the depth of emotion that this moment held.
Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Indian democracy started its journey when Nehru said – “At the stroke of midnight." Many years later when "Atal Bihari Vajpayee said Government will come and go, parties will be formed and destroyed, but the country should move on," it shows how the belief in democracy has been woven in the narrative of every Indian. These profound words, spoken by two stalwarts of Indian politics, set the tone for this solemn occasion, reminding everyone of the enduring spirit of our democracy.
With reverence, he continued, "There was an attack in the parliament, and I would like to thank all of them who took bullets in their chest to save us and our democracy." These unsung heroes, who put their lives on the line, symbolized the unwavering commitment of countless individuals to safeguard the ideals of democracy.
"I bow down in respect to all the people who contributed to the development of this country," the Priem Minister continued, his eyes reflecting the gratitude of a nation. "From the person who came with a small piece of paper to the tea maker and the gardener who took care of the environment." He acknowledged that the growth of a nation is a collective effort, with each person playing a unique role in its development.
"The parliament," Modi said, "has become the expression of the people of this country." Over the years, it had evolved into a symbol of the nation's aspirations, a place where voices from all corners of India found representation and were heard.
"The biggest achievement," he emphasized, "is that people started believing in the democracy of this country." India's democracy had not just endured; it had thrived, inspiring nations worldwide.
"This parliament," the Prime Minister continued, "has set the world right and continued with its democracy for the last 75 years." It stood as a beacon of hope and resilience, guiding the nation through turbulent times.
"The parliament," the Prime Minister said, "has experienced the Corona phase, but the work for the country didn't stop." Even in the face of a global pandemic, members of parliament had demonstrated their commitment by adhering to restrictions and continuing to serve the nation.
He paid tribute to the stalwarts who had dedicated their lives to the service of the nation. "Indrajit Gupta served as a member for 43 years, while Chandramani Murmu became the youngest member of the Parliament at just 25." Their contributions, from different ends of the spectrum, exemplified the diversity and inclusivity of Indian democracy.
"Nearly 7,500 members have contributed to both houses of parliament, of which there were 650 members," the Prime Minister stated, underscoring the vastness of the democratic representation in India.
"When I first became a member of parliament," Modi said, "I touched my head on the stairs of this parliament." His words were a heartfelt tribute to the reverence with which lawmakers entered this hallowed institution, understanding the weight of their responsibilities.
"This is an emotional moment," he admitted, his voice quivering with sentiment. "To leave this old building is a moment of memories." The walls of Samsad Bhawan held the echoes of countless debates, discussions, and decisions that had shaped the destiny of a nation.
"The world is taking India as a friend," Modi continued, "and that is because of our culture - from Vedas to Vivekananda." He acknowledged that India's rich heritage and values had earned it a special place on the global stage.
He went on to announce the forthcoming P20 summit, a gathering of parliamentary speakers from around the world. "The world agreed to a declaration, and everybody should be proud of that," he said, emphasizing the role of Indian diplomacy in fostering international cooperation.
"When India organized the summit, African nations joined," the Modi said, his voice filled with emotion. "No one can ever forget this. Perhaps I shall be in tears speaking this." The inclusion of African nations showcased India's commitment to forging bonds beyond borders.
"The success of G20," Modi stressed, "is the success of 140 crores of people of this country. It is not the success of any one country or any leader." He celebrated the collaborative spirit of nations that came together to address global challenges.
"We want to congratulate the scientists," the Prime Minister added, "from this country, again and again." India's achievements in science and technology, exemplified by the success of Chandrayaan, had garnered international acclaim.
"The world has started speaking about our country," Modi said with pride. "Amrikal - the first rays brought a new lease of life. It brought new hope and courage - everywhere there is discussion of our country." India had emerged as a shining beacon on the world stage, a testament to its resilience and progress.
"We will go to the new building," he said, "but the old building will continue to inspire the people of this country." The legacy of Samsad Bhawan would live on in the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege of serving within its walls.
"This building," the Prime Minister said in closing, "carried the sweat and blood of the country's people." It had witnessed the struggles and triumphs of a nation, serving as a silent witness to the evolution of Indian democracy.
As the special session of parliament began, Modi’s words lingered in the air, a poignant reminder of the rich history and promising future of India's democracy. In the hallowed halls of the parliament, the nation's collective spirit continued to thrive, carrying the torch of democracy into the future.