Need to expand canvas to build stronger India: PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during an event organised in the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of the shifting of Parliament to the new building, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. (Screengrab)

New Delhi: Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Tuesday gathered at the historic Central Hall of the old Parliament building for a function to commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India.

called for expanding the canvas to build a stronger India, and said all reforms and new laws going forward must have rising aspirations of the country as their priority.

Addressing a function in the Central Hall of old Parliament building, Modi said a big picture cannot be painted on a small canvas and the idea of a grand India cannot be envisioned if the members do not think big.

"Is it possible to draw a big picture on a small canvas? No! In the same way, we cannot mark out the picture of 'Bhavya Bharat' if we have a small canvas of thinking," the prime minister said.

"We have a rich heritage! If this rich heritage is joined in by our dreams, our resolutions, and if our canvas of thinking expands, we will certainly be able to paint picture of 'Bhavya Bharat', we will certainly be able to fill colours in this picture, and offer this beautiful, colourful and grand picture of 'Maa Bharti' to our future generations," he said.

Modi urged the members to reaffirm the commitment to make India a developed nation by 2047 and described the move to the new Parliament building as a new beginning towards a new future.

In the new Parliament building, we are going to make new beginnings for a new future, Modi said at the function to celebrate the legacy of the old Parliament building.

He said since 1952, 41 heads of states from across the world have addressed our MPs in Central Hall and more than 4,000 laws have been passed by Parliament in the last seven decades.

"Today, together in the new Parliament building, we are all going to inaugurate a new future," he said.

"Today, we are moving towards the new building here with the intention of reiterating the resolve of a developed India, being determined and working whole-heartedly to fulfil it," he said.

Recounting the laws passed in the old Parliament building, he said Muslim mothers and sisters got justice as the law against 'triple talaq' was unitedly passed from here.

"In the last few years, Parliament has also passed laws giving justice to the transgenders. We have unitedly passed laws that will guarantee a bright future for the specially-abled people. It is our privilege that we got the opportunity to abrogate Article 370," he said.

The prime minister noted that Parliament took an important step to get rid of Article 370 and fight against separatism and terrorism.

"The Constitution made in this House was implemented in Jammu and Kashmir," he said, adding J-K has embarked on the path of peace and development and with a new zeal, enthusiasm and determination, the people there do not want to miss any opportunity to move forward.

Addressing the gathering, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the function also commemorates the last sitting of the two Houses in the old building on Monday. The new building has now been designated as the Parliament House of India. He said the Central Hall has been witness to the transfer of power from Britain to Bharat.

Joshi also said that our parliamentary journey was marked by excellent achievements, difficult challenges and remarkable milestones.

At the function, Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar sat on the dais flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Speaker Om Birla.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were seated on the extreme corners of the stage.

Joshi and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal were also seated on the stage.

Earlier, when MPs assembled in the Central Hall, Prime Minister Modi was seen greeting them with folded hands.

The function has been organised to commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India and resolve to make Bharat a developed Nation by 2047.

BJP MP Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said she is proud to be part of the moment when the government will be giving women "an equal share in future of India."

Maneka Gandhi, who has served as minister for women and child development in past, talked about the power of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' slogan of the government, and social schemes like Jan Dhan and Ujjwala Yojana. "I am proud to be a part of this moment when government under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has undertaken to repair the deep rooted asymmetry, and to give an equal share in the future of India to all us women," Maneka Gandhi said at a function held in the Central Hall to commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India.

She said Prime Minister Modi did not see people as mere statistics, but in light of their needs. "Opening bank accounts, giving dignity in form of toilets, home water tap, building houses for the poor, gas cylinders, giving young people loans, skilling them, protecting them through the pandemic... " she said.

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