STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Former Minister J&K Yogesh Sawhney, on Thursday, condemned the Government’s plan to construct a new parliament house for India, after PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for the new building. The former Minister criticised the government for taking on such an unnecessary and ambitious plan amid outcry of coronavirus pandemic and a pandemic-battered economy.
He expressed deep discontent over Government’s actions which ‘show their ignorance and malicious agenda to redesign India’s historical landscape in a bid to enforce their own imprint.’ He said that the current Parliament Building is iconic and pertains to immense historical importance to all Indians.
“It is the place where independent India’s first Prime Minister Nehru stood up and announced beginning of a new journey toward freedom and prosperity. In 1947, on eve of independence at midnight, he stood in that place and welcomed a new era. This is a moment we’re all proud of. It was where great Indian leaders and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh gave wake up calls to our British oppressors and fought for independence. The building has been the centerpiece of India’s dynamic politics. It also braved horrendous 2001 attack by terrorists. Any attempt to undermine importance of this building would be an attack on our history,” he said.
The former Minister said that we should take cue from other countries which take pride in their historical buildings and preserve them with all their might. On the other hand, the government is attempting to project our Parliament house in a wrong light, thereby betraying Indian sentiments and sensibilities.
“Prime Minister promises that this new building will be testament to a new Atmanirbhar Bharat, but I say it will be testament to destruction of India,” he added. In a time of economic crisis, a project which will drain immense resources, and is estimated to cost Rs 971 crore is absolutely absurd, Sawhney asserted.
He also showed apprehensions over the Government’s decision to hold ‘Bhumi Poojan’ to inaugurate lavish project. He said that in a secular multi-faith democracy, a Prime Minister should refrain from actively participating in and holding religious rituals pertaining to only a single community.
Sawhney said that the Indian Parliament House has been the sanctuary of India’s democracy. The building has been witness to historic debates, momentous legislations and the growth of India’s vibrant democracy, he said.
“The building bears the imprint of Indian history and tradition and should be respected for it,” he added.