In a display of nostalgia, 10 women parliamentarians shared their memories, messages and experiences of the old Parliament building in handwritten notes as they prepared to bid farewell to the structure ahead of a move into the new complex during the upcoming session.
The MPs representing various political parties offered heartfelt tributes to the building that has been the epicentre of India’s democratic journey.
Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, in her note, recounted her journey within the hallowed halls of the old Parliament building.
“From an awed visitor in 2006 to a first-time MP in 2009, then a first-time minister in 2014, these 144 pillars in this temple of democracy hold a multitude of memories for me,” she said.
The “beautiful building, embellished with the history and handiwork of thousands of Indian artists, sculptors and labourers has been a place of intense learning and immense satisfaction”, Badal added.
Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena (UBT) echoed her sentiment.
“Memories. Learnings. Policy Making. Friendships. History and the sheer beauty of this architectural marvel that has seen intense debates and disruptions,” she shared in her note.
“Stalwarts and history makers all work in its precincts. Parliament that has shaped 75 years of our journey as a confident nation. Proud to be a part of this journey and hoping the essence of this parliament continues in the new building,” Chaturvedi said.
Union Minister and Apna Dal (S) MP Anupriya Patel recalled in her note her first steps into Sansad Bhavan.
“I could feel deep within that I am entering a historic building, which saw India gaining its Independence on 15 August, 1947, the framing of our Constitution and the evolution and strengthening of our country’s democratic institutions,” she said in her note.
BJP MP Poonam Mahajan expressed her thoughts poetically, saying, “Antim jay ka vajra banane, Nav Dadhichi haddiyan galaayein. Aao phir se diya jalaayein.” Mahua Moitra of the TMC said the building “will always have a special place in my heart, as does anyone’s first home”.
“This great Hall embraced us all, both treasury and opposition. And helped us find our own little corners in its cocoon. The building may change but its symbolism — a free space for freely elected representatives of a free country — is what is incumbent upon us all to preserve intact,” she added in her note.
Union Minister and BJP MP Smriti Irani shared her “Best Wishes!” in her note.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule, on the other hand, expressed her gratitude to the people of Maharashtra and the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency for giving her the opportunity to attend sessions at the Building.
“Blessed and gratitude to the people of Maharashtra and Baramati for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the largest democracy in the world and attending sessions in the old beautiful Parliament building — echoes the voices of the leaders who contributed to the development of our beautiful country,” she wrote in her note.
Congress MP Ramya Haridas reminisced about the building’s significance, calling it the “palace of democracy” and the “birthplace of strong decisions”.
She emphasised its historical importance and lasting memories.
Independent MP from Amravati Navneet Rana said she cherished her time in the old building and remarked, “First time when I was entering Parliament was a great memory for me. This Parliament gave me an opportunity to learn a lot of things. It’s a real temple of democracy.” Rajya Sabha MP and legenday sprinter PT Usha shared her unique perspective.
She recalled her visits to Parliament House and the warm reception she received from fellow parliamentarians, emphasising their support and cooperation.
“First time I visited this elegant Parliament House in the year 1986 after my rich gold medal haul at Seoul as a spectator. That time still remember that all the Honourable MPs congratulating me and gave best wishes. After that too I visited two or three times with some special purpose. But on 20th July, 2022, was a very special day for me. First time in my life I stepped into the Rajya Sabha with my right leg, touched the step with my right hand and chanted ‘Hari Om’ in my lips (sic),” she said.
A session of Parliament is set to begin on Monday amid an intense buzz on whether the government will have some surprise item up its sleeve during the five-day sitting that will see a discussion on Parliament’s 75-year journey and House proceedings moving to the new building.
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