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New Parliament is something we can truly call our own

opinionColumnistsNew Parliament is something we can truly call our own

The new Parliament is the dawn of an era of nation building, shedding vestiges of the past and symbols of colonialism.

The new Parliament building and its inauguration is a historic occasion. The last time the Parliament was inaugurated was by an imperial head of state living off the misery and suffering of countless Indians. Today the new Parliament building is an embodiment of how far Indians have come. Its inauguration by our own Prime Minister elected by the people is a moment to be proud of. For once, it’s something that we can truly call our own. To oppose it means we are insulting our democracy and its successes, unless the Opposition intends on not sitting in Parliament and legislating on important business of this country and deny the country the important legislations we need to take the country forward. The question one must ask is not why is the Prime Minister inaugurating the Parliament, but why cannot he? He is the elected representative of the people and represents the needs and aspirations of the country. It’s the people of the country who have mandated the Prime Minister to inaugurate the Parliament of this country, the Opposition objections notwithstanding.
Historically speaking, after the end of two and a half centuries of colonial domination, we are not ready to shake off the last vestiges of colonial domination. In a country like ours, it becomes difficult to get completely rid of the colonial mentality and its institutions when efforts at creating something new, something which is needed to accommodate the expanding needs of the population of this country are not appreciated. The invitation has been extended to each and every stakeholder and decision maker to attend the inauguration, the government has appealed to all to set aside the differences and come together, because who knows when the next opportunity for such a historic occasion will present itself. What are we telling the next generation of Indians? That matters such as the inauguration of the Parliament should be seen only through a political prism and not through the perspective of the nation. The talk of insult to the President is laughable to say the least because the President has been elected by all including the BJP and NDA and its allies and many Opposition parties. The election of President Draupadi Murmu gave hope to countless young women in the country, in the villages and countryside that they too could aspire for the highest office of the country. It proved that sheer hard work, and selfless sacrifice for the upliftment of those in need can make you reach the highest offices of the land—that it is no longer the privilege of a select few. The election of the Prime Minister and his mission of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas made women believe they are equal shareholders in nation building and are at the forefront. If the leaders could set aside their differences to elect the first tribal President of the country then why not now? There has been talk of precedence wherein the Opposition claims are wanting and highly questionable. There are numerous instances in which the President has been sidelined and ignored when fundamental decisions regarding the future of the country were being taken, Emergency being a case in point. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure stands out as one where he put the nation before self, and national pride before anything, boosting confidence in the new India story for generations to come.
The new Parliament is the dawn of an era of nation building, shedding vestiges of the past and symbols of colonial legitimacy, which are reminders of our sufferings at the hands of the British who committed unaccounted horrors under the garb of taking us forward. It’s about embracing what is truly ours and our rich civilizational ethos.

Kartikeya Sharma is Member of the Rajya Sabha.

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