T’was friendly banter taking place twixt the new Parliament building and the old one, as they stood opposite each other, one empty and about to be converted into a museum and the other spilling with elected members, joyous over their new structure.
“So Oldy, you are over and done with!” laughed the new building, “They say you wouldn’t have lasted if an earthquake had hit the capital!”
“Oh, my dear youngster, many an earthquake have I survived! It was in these very halls that the world felt the earth shattering sound of the conch-shell as a new democracy, the most populous in the world was announced! It was these same walls that withstood the earthquake of the emergency, and came back a democracy!”
“But look at your shape, round and ugly, while mine, so triangular, representing, the sacred geometry in different religions.”
“I’ve wondered what your architect meant by that,” chuckled the old building, “but my shape was inspired by the Chausath Yogini Temple. A Yogini means a practiser of Yoga, and imagine this inspiration dates back to over 73 years, decades before we started exporting yoga to the world!”
The new building was at a loss for words for a moment, but burst out, “You could hardly house the representatives of India, only five hundred and forty three seats whereas I can seat eight hundred and eighty eight elected members!”
“Ah!” said the old building, “My seats were meant for elected members to listen to other elected members as they spoke. My seats were meant for moments of respite from heavy debating and discussions on what was good for the nation! Whereas in yours I see a majority by it’s sheer numbers pass all manner of bills, without debate, without argument and without listening to voices that think different thoughts but represent India too!”
“My interiors represent India,” said the new building haughtily, “Sandstone from Sarmathura in Dholpur, granite from Lakha village in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The wood used in the decor is from Nagpur and craftsmen from Mumbai have led the wooden architecture design and Bhadohi weavers from Uttar Pradesh have made the traditional hand-knotted carpets!”
“My interiors,” said the old building, even when made into a museum of democracy as they plan to do, will resound with the shouts of Indians who opposed their freedom being snatched away, with the cries of elected members who stood out for justice, and others who were jailed because they believed in the equality of the all the people in the country!”
‘Twas friendly banter that was taking place, and the new building looked at the old circular one and said, “I hope my walls will also resound with the shouts of justified protests, the cries against justice tampered with, and protect the freedoms our dear Constitution has given us!”
“Then and only then will you be a true Parliament building!” whispered the old building wisely...!
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at [email protected]