The old parliament building will be called “Samvidhan Sadan (Constitution House),” Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today in his last speech from the old building. He then led all MPs on foot to the new parliament building, which will be the official Indian parliament from now onwards.
“Today, we are taking leave from here and heading to the new parliament building. This is auspicious as today is Ganesh Chaturthi,” the PM said, turned towards the speakers of both houses seated beside him, and made a request.
“I appeal to you, and I hope you will consider it after deliberation. Now that we are going there (the new parliament building), the glory of this house should never decline. We shouldn’t just call it the ‘old parliament’. I request, if both of you permit, that this building should be known as ‘Samvidhan Sadan’ so that it always serves as an inspiration for us. When we call it ‘Samvidhan Sadan’, the memories of those great people who once sat here in the Constituent Assembly get linked to it. We shouldn’t let go of this opportunity to offer this gift to the coming generations,” PM Modi said.
The iconic old building, designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, was completed in 1927 and is now 96 years old. Over the years, it was found to be inadequate for present-day requirements.
Speaking in Lok Sabha yesterday, PM Modi paid tributes to “every brick” of the old building and said the MPs will enter the new building with “new hope and confidence”.
Government sources say the building won’t be demolished and that it will be “retrofitted” to provide more functional spaces for parliamentary events. Some reports also suggest that a part of the old building could be converted into a museum.
“The historic structure will be conserved, as it is an archaeological asset of the country,” sources have said.