As around 800 Members of Parliament getting ready to bid adieu the old iconic building and set their foot in the new swanky building, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave a big shoutout to Pandit Jawharlal Nehru’s historic ‘A tryst with destiny’ speech and said it will continue to inspire generations.

Modi was addressing the Special Session of Parliament in Lok Sabha which will continue till September 22. While members assembled in respective chambers of the old Parliament building on Monday, they will take their seats in new the chambers of new Parliament building constructed in the same complex.

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It is this Parliament where Pandit Nehru spoke at the 'stroke of midnight hour' and his words continue to inspire everyone, he said.

“The echo of Nehru ji’s Stroke of Midnight speech will inspire us. It is also in this House where Atal Bihari Vajpayee said governments will come and go, but this country will stay,” Prime Minister Modi said today as he listed key milestones in the history of the old Parliament building. He was tracing the nearly eight-decade journey of the old Parliament building that has also been the country’s journey following its Independence from British rule.

A tryst with destiny

Addressing the nation on August 15, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister Nehru had said, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”

Drawing an analogy to a family that shifts into a new home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it is a very emotional moment to bid farewell to the Old Parliament building. He reflected on the various moods that the House has witnessed in all these years and said that these memories are the preserved heritage of all the members of the house. “Its glory also belongs to us”, he added. He remarked that the nation has witnessed countless incidents related to the creation of New India in the 75-year-old history of this Parliament House and today is an opportunity to express respect for the ordinary citizen of India.

The Prime Minister highlighted the changing composition of the house with passage of the time as it grew more inclusive and representatives from all sections of society started coming to the House. “Inclusive atmosphere has kept manifesting the aspirations of the people with full power”, he said. The Prime Minister noted the contributions of women parliamentarians that have helped in growing the dignity of the House.

Changing dynamics of the Parliament house

Giving a rough estimation, Prime Minister Modi informed that more than 7,500 public representatives have served in both Houses where the number of women representatives is approximately 600. He also informed that veteran communist leader Indrajit Gupta served for almost 43 years in this House, and Shafiqur Rahman served at the age of 93 years. He also mentioned Chandrani Murmu who was elected to the House at the young age of 25

Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted a sense of family in the House despite arguments and sarcasm and called this a major quality of the House as bitterness never lingers. He also remembered how, despite severe ailments, the members came to the House to perform their duties, including during the difficult time of pandemic.

Recalling the terrorist attack on the Parliament, Prime Minister Modi 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”, the Prime Minister interjected. He acknowledged the contributions of those who stood between the terrorists and the House to protect its members and paid tributes to the brave hearts.

The Prime Minister underlined that the present members of the House are extremely lucky as they get the opportunity to become a link of the past with the future as he mentioned bidding farewell to the Old Building tomorrow. “Today’s occasion is a moment of pride for the 7,500 representatives who have derived inspiration from within the walls of the Parliament”, Modi added.