New Parliament building: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday made a “humble” request to Opposition parties to not boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building and to re-think their decision. She called the Parliament “a temple of democracy” while she appealed to the Opposition to be part of the event.
Notably, as many as 20 Opposition parties including Congress, TMC, AAP, AIMIM and others have decided to boycott the inauguration event. The Opposition parties in their joint statement said, "This act is not merely disrespectful, it is a blatant affront to the democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation." The entire controversy over the opening of the new Parliament is that the Opposition does not want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the new building as they demand that the President of India should be given this honour. While 19 parties have boycotted the inauguration, some parties have welcomed the opening of the new Parliament and confirmed that they will attend the ceremony.
'It's a temple of democracy'
Addressing reporters in Chennai, along with the Governors of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Nagaland, the Union Minister said, "It's a temple of democracy, even the PM entered the Parliament by bowing on its steps. I humbly request and appeal (to the Opposition), kindly re-think, change your stand and participate in the ceremony."
'20 Tamil pontiffs to attend new Parliament building inauguration'
On May 28, during the inauguration of the new Parliament building, the historic event of Aug 14, 1947, will be recreated. 20 adheenams, who have been invited from Tamil Nadu, including Tiruvavaduthurai, Perur and Madurai, will hand over the same Sengol to PM Modi, in a special ceremony with Oduvars and Nadaswara vidwans. In Tamil, the word ‘Aadeenam’ refers to both a Shaivite monastery and the head of such a math.
The Sengol is a national treasure with a deep link to Tamil Nadu and India’s freedom. It is a Chola tradition of righteous rule. The Sengol confers the “order” (“aanai” in Tamil) to rule justly and fairly. PM Modi will adopt the Sengol as the symbol for ‘Amrit Kaal’, capturing the spirit of August 14/15 1947. He will also honour the contribution of Tamil Nadu to India’s history and culture.
“The pontiffs will attend the event, there will be Oduvars (scholars in Shaivite scriptures and hymns) who will recite the Thevaram. In 1947 also the Sengol was handed over to Nehru when othuvargal recited Kolaru Pathigam,” she said.
Sengol will be installed in Lok Sabha
The same Sengol will be installed in Lok Sabha near the chair of the Lok Sabha Speaker with much reverence and it will symbolise “governance with justice and without any bias,” she added.
The Sengol will be installed in the Lok Sabha Speaker’s podium, as a sign of respect and reverence for the democratic institution. This will be a historic moment for India, as we celebrate our unity and diversity, our heritage and culture, and our freedom and responsibilities.
TN Governor RN Ravi, his Telangana and Nagaland counterparts, Tamilsai Soundararajan and La Ganesan, respectively, Union Minister L Murugan and TN Minister PK Sekar Babu were present.
She further said that 20 “aadeenams” from Tamil Nadu have been invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28, where the ‘Sengol’ will be installed, as did in 1947 to symbolise the power transformation from the British. Sitharaman said that Tamil nadu has a “big proud part” to the episode of handing over of the Sengol (sceptre) to the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, symbolising the power transfer from the British to the people of India in 1947.
(With agencies input)