Prime Minister Modi Addresses the New Parliament and Champions Women’s Empowerment
The government is presenting a significant Constitutional Amendment Bill to enhance women's representation in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, promoting women-led development.
New Delhi, September 19, 2023: In a historic address to the nation today, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building, emphasising a new dawn for India, lauding its recent achievements, and staunchly advocating for women’s empowerment.
The magnificent new edifice of the Parliament, standing as a testament to the nation’s progress and the tireless work of its builders, resonated with the echoes of PM Modi’s words as he termed the session the start of the “Amrit Kaal”. Underscoring India’s global stature, he pointed towards India’s significant contributions, like the success of Chandrayaan 3 and the nation’s leadership role during the G20 summit.
Coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, PM Modi drew parallels between the festival’s significance and the promise of new beginnings for India. He reminded the country of Lokmanya Tilak’s efforts during the Freedom Struggle, where Ganesh Chaturthi was used as a medium to fan the flames of Swaraj, or self-rule. “Today we are moving with the same inspiration,” remarked Modi, aiming to embolden the spirit of unity and forward momentum.
In a deeply symbolic gesture highlighting the significance of harmony and reconciliation in nation-building, the Prime Minister invoked the spirit of Samvatsari Parva, a Jain festival of forgiveness. Embodying the festival’s essence, he extended the message of “Michchhāmi Dukkaḍaṃ” to his countrymen, emphasising the need to move forward without harbouring past resentments.
One of the salient features of his address was the heartfelt tribute to the more than 30,000 workers and engineers who relentlessly worked on constructing the new building, even during the challenging times of the global pandemic. To ensure their efforts don’t fade into oblivion, a digital book chronicling the details of these dedicated workers, known as ‘shramiks’, has been made available to the public.
Drawing attention to the primary purpose of the parliamentary institution, PM Modi stated, “Bhawan (building) has changed; Bhav (feelings) should also change.” He passionately conveyed that the Parliament stands as a beacon of national service, towering above narrow party interests. He urged the parliamentarians to always act in a manner that upholds the sanctity and spirit of the Constitution. The prime minister stressed the unity of goals and the significance of adhering to time-honoured parliamentary traditions.
However, the most pivotal moment of his address was emphasising the transformative role of women in India’s journey as a global power. PM Modi acknowledged their invaluable contributions, spanning from space exploration to stellar performances in sports. Drawing attention to the global acknowledgement of women-led development during the G20 summit, Modi illustrated his government’s proactive approach. He highlighted that of the 50 crore beneficiaries of the Jan Dhan Scheme, most were women. Other initiatives like the Mudra Yojana and the PM Avaas Yojana were highlighted for their women-centric benefits.
Building on this momentum, PM Modi announced the introduction of “Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam”, a transformative Constitutional Amendment Bill aimed at bolstering women’s participation in the political arenas of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas. This initiative, if passed, promises to be a significant leap in strengthening the country’s democratic fabric.
“I believe God has chosen me to get this work done,” said an emotional Modi, referring to the long-debated reservation for women in Parliament. He fervently concluded by urging the members of Parliament to pass this historic bill unanimously, emphasising that such a consensus would amplify its impact manifold.
Today, the Prime Minister’s address heralded the commencement of a new parliamentary building and promised a renewed direction for India, where every citizen, irrespective of gender, plays a pivotal role in scripting its global success story.