Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28 inaugurated the new Parliament building of India, seeking blessings from high priests of various ‘adheenams’ in Tamil Nadu with the holy sceptre in hand. He also installed the historic Sengol in the Lok Sabha chamber.
Amid Vedic chants by priests from Karnataka’s Sringeri Math, the prime minister perform “Ganapati Homam” to invoke Gods to bless the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
PM Modi then carried the Sengol in a procession amid tunes of “nadaswaram” and chanting of Vedic mantras to the new Parliament building and installed it in a special enclosure on the right side of the Speaker’s chair in the Lok Sabha chamber. He later said that the presence of the “holy sengol” in the new building would inspire lawmakers.
PM Modi also unveiled a plaque dedicating the building to the nation and later addressed a gathering of lawmakers. “This is not just a building. It is a reflection of the aspirations and dreams of 1.4 billion Indians. This is the temple of our democracy and it’s giving the message of India’s determination to the world,” he said.
The gold sceptre was given to India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru by priests from a prominent Hindu sect. It added that the sengol was “the symbol of the transfer of power to India from the Britishers on the 14th of August in 1947”.
The new parliament building is part of the government’s ambitious project to develop the Central Vista complex in Delhi to replace colonial-era government buildings.
Built in front of the old parliament, the new four-storey building – built at an estimated cost of $117.1 million, is much bigger and has the capacity to seat 1,272 MPs. The Lok Sabha chamber, which will seat the lower house of the parliament, is designed in the likeness of a peacock, India’s national bird. The Rajya Sabha chamber, which will seat the upper house, is designed to resemble the lotus, India’s national flower.
The current parliament building will be converted into a museum.