‘Death Of Conversation’: Congress’ Jairam Ramesh Criticises New Parliament’s Architecture
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Saturday, referred to the new Parliament building as ‘Modi Multiplex’ and offered criticism regarding its architectural design.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Saturday, September 23, referred to the new Parliament building as ‘Modi Multiplex’ and offered criticism regarding its architectural design, which he likened to a hindrance to productive discourse. Calling the new complex ‘painful and agonising’, he humorously remarked that Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members might require binoculars to spot each other in the vast expanse of the new complex.
“The new Parliament building launched with so much hype actually realises the PM’s objectives very well. It should be called the Modi Multiplex or Modi Marriot. After four days, what I saw was the death of confabulations and conversations—both inside the two Houses and in the lobbies. If architecture can kill democracy, the PM has already succeeded even without rewriting the Constitution,” wrote the Congress MP on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Criticising the new Parliament complex, which witnessed the first sitting on September 19 after the official inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28, the Congress leader said that the old Parliament building not only had a certain aura but it facilitated conversations. “It was easy to walk between Houses, the Central Hall, and the corridors.”
‘New Parliament weakens bonding’
Reiterating that quick coordination between Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in the new Parliament complex is cumbersome, the Congress leader said, “This new one weakens the bonding needed to make the running of Parliament a success. In the old building, if you were lost, you would find your way back again since it was circular. In the new building, if you lose your way, you are lost in a maze. The old building gave you a sense of space and openness while the new one is almost claustrophobic.”
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He added that the happiness of hanging out in Parliament has disappeared with the shift of procedures to the new building. “I used to look forward to going to the old building. The new complex is painful and agonising. I am sure many of my colleagues across party lines feel the same. I have also heard from the staff in the Secretariat that the design of the new building has not considered the various functionalities required to help them do their work.”
Taunting the BJP-led Centre, Ramesh added that such a problem arises when construction is done without any consultation of the people who will use it. Displaying optimism about the Congress returning to power following the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, he quipped, “Perhaps a more fitting purpose for the new Parliament will be determined after a change in government in 2024.”
New Parliament: An architectural masterpiece
The first session in the new Parliament premises was held on September 19, as part of the five-day Parliament Special Session called by the Centre. As part of the proceedings, the new Parliament building witnessed the passage of the historic Women’s Reservation Bill, also known as ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.’ It grants 33 per cent reservation to women in both Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.
The new parliament building on Kartavya Path, inaugurated by PM Modi, can seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha. It has a hexagonal shape and it is built next to the existing complex and is almost equal in size to the former one. Inspired by the culture of India, the new Parliament complex boasts peacock-themed interiors, a design that brings together the ancient and the modern.
The new Indian Parliament building features six entrances, each named after real and mythical creatures, which serve as a captivating homage to Indian culture and mythology. These gates, known as Gaja Dwar, Ashwa Dwar, Garuda Dwar, Makar Dwar, Shardula Dwar, and Hamsa Dwar, stand as majestic and symbolic sentinels, welcoming all who enter.