The 96 year old building is now a thing of the past. Along with the farewell addresses of Prime Minister Modi and other leaders, bidding goodbye to the old building and entering the new Parliament building has also taken place.
Now the Old Parliament House is a national heritage, a long history, parliamentary museum and a reflection of democracy, with innumerable memories of the founding fathers of the Constitution, our forefathers and more than 7500 Parliamentarians.
The Old House has been witness to the events, debates and decisions that have given shape and development to India’s democracy.
Those innumerable sounds are still resonating in the Parliament House, which may seem vague and unheard, but they are living proof of the autonomy of expression and dialogue.
We have also seen the government of a strong and decisive Prime Minister like Atal Bihari Vajpayee falling by just one vote. That day we also saw democracy being sold, but democracy is eternal and eternal, hence it returned.
We have also witnessed the political division in the Lok Sabha over the nuclear deal and have seen the near fall of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government.
In the Lok Sabha, a BJP MP shocked the entire House by opening a bag full of currency notes, hence the political corruption of ‘vote for notes’ has also been exposed.
Also heard is the historic decision of dismissal of 11 MPs on the corruption of ‘cash bribe in lieu of question’.
We have also witnessed the passing of historic amendments and laws ranging from Food Security, Right to Information, MNREGA, Compulsory Free Education to Article 370, Triple Talaq, GST, One Post-One Pension etc.
We were also eyewitnesses to the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001 and saved our lives by hiding behind a big stone.
Now that the Modi Cabinet has approved the bill for 33 percent reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies, Therefore, this bill can be introduced and passed in the ‘special session’ of the new Parliament House, but let us make it clear that it is not possible to implement the Women’s Reservation Act before 2029, i.e. the next general elections.
After the bill is passed with two-thirds majority in both houses of the Parliament, it is also a constitutional obligation and responsibility that more than 50 percent of the state assemblies also ratify it. The 10-year census work may also continue till 2026.
Then the work of delimitation also has to be done keeping in view the reserved seats. We have seen strong opposition from political parties like SP, RJD and Janata Dal-U on women’s reservation in Parliament.
Even the copies of the bill were torn. JD-U’s Sharad Yadav was ready to ‘die’, but was socially opposing such a bill.
However, today opposition leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav have ‘passed away’.
Of course, all this may not be possible in the current scenario, because BJP has an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha, but if election and reservation of 180 women MPs has to be done, then a certain process is mandatory. That will take time.
At present there are 78 women MPs in the Lok Sabha and 29 in the Rajya Sabha. This ratio is 14.4 and 12 percent respectively, whereas in a poor, backward country like Rwanda, the representation of women is more than 61 percent.
Probably, a provision is also being made that the parliamentary seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, One-third of their total number may be reserved for women from the same groups.
When the bill is presented in Parliament, the picture will be very clear. Based on that we will analyze how effective women’s reservation will be.
For women empowerment, there has been a demand for a long time that women should be given 33 percent reservation in Parliament and state assemblies.
For this, bills were presented in Parliament several times. Now the time has come for this dream to come true. Then the picture will be absolutely clear.