New Delhi, Sep 19, 2023: Three months after the new Parliament House was inaugurated, MPs moved into the building on Tuesday (September 19), marking a historic move.
A stroll around the old Parliament building and one realises that there isn’t any Indian cultural iconography or symbols that adorn it. Nothing in the old building represents Indian culture, but this has changed in the new building, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.
If one look at the magnificent entrance gates of the new Parliament building, then one can see the full display of India’s cultural and civilisational history. The themes of the interior of the ‘temple of democracy’ are the three national symbols of India – the lotus, the peacock and the banyan tree.
Indian culture and mythology at the new Parliament’s entrance
The new parliament building has six gates - Gaja Dwar, Ashwa Dwar, Garuda Dwar, Makar Dwar, Shardula Dwar and Hamsa Dwar. All these are named after real and mythological creatures.
Like sentinels, they welcome people, giving the impression that they are entering an important building.
Gaja Dwar: Located on the north side of the new Parliament building, the Gaja Dwar is named after the elephant, an animal that represents intellect, memory, wealth and wisdom. In Indian mythology, elephants are also associated with prosperity and happiness.
Hamsa Dwar: Hamsa Dwar is named after Hamsa or Swan, which represents self-realization and wisdom, often associated with goddess Saraswati, the deity of knowledge.
The presence of the Swan at the entrance is a symbol of knowledge, not just in the conventional sense, but also wisdom to take the country forward.
Shardula Dwar: Shardula is a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of a horse, elephant or parrot. According to the government, this animal at the gate symbolises the power of the people of the country.
Garuda Dwar: Garuda is the king of birds and is also a mount of Lord Vishnu. In the new Parliament building, Garuda is located at the eastern entrance to the new Parliament building. Garuda represents power and dharma.
It symbolises that the Parliament is the power of the people and those inside will follow their ‘Dharma’ (duty).
Makara Dwar: This gate is named after the legendary sea creature often depicted as half mammal and half fish. This gate is facing gate 12 of the old Parliament building.
This creature is associated with protectors and is often seen in Hindu and Buddhist monuments.
Ashwa Dwar: Ashwa is the sanskrit word for a horse found in the ancient Rigveda and in Indian culture. It symbolises power, strength and courage.
Culture and Mythology inside, Technological might inside
While the gates of the new Parliament are replete with Indian culture and mythology, as one goes inside the building, one realises that it is an amalgamation of modern and technologically savvy India.
The building is fortified with an advanced security system that includes facial recognition software, comprehensive CCTV coverage, and rigorous screening processes for visitors.
In addition, retina scans, along with bio-metrics will also be done at the entrance, which makes it a world-class security system put in place.
Among the striking features is the digital interface provided for each member of parliament (MP).
Once an MP sits inside either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, the in-built laptops allow them to register their attendance, send requests to speak, and access documents and reports related to their legislative work, all through a touch interface. This feature is an exercise to make Parliament a more eco-friendly place and reduce its dependence on paper.
The new parliament building also boasts a dynamic sound system specifically designed for the large circular layout of its main chambers. This advanced system neutralizes echo, enhancing the acoustics and ensuring every word spoken in debates resonates clearly in all corners of the room.
This exemplifies how technology can be seamlessly incorporated into architecture to improve communication and efficiency. In addition, the inclusion of integrated digital screens for presentations, real-time information updates, and televised debates represent sophisticated technology infusion, aiming to promote transparency in legislative procedures.
In various global forums, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about eco-friendliness and the need to work towards sustainability.
PM Modi has often spoken about India’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainable development.
The new Parliament is an example of how Indian buildings are working in that direction. It has been designed to harness natural light optimally, reducing the need for artificial lighting and lowering energy consumption. This technological intervention also goes hand in hand with it.
In conclusion, the new parliament building’s incorporation of state-of-the-art technology demonstrates a forward-thinking approach to legislative procedures. This blend of tradition and modernity provides an inspiring model for future constructions around the world that aspire to incorporate technology without compromising on cultural integrity.
For all those who will visit the new building, they will see how this building has brought to the fore the possibility of creating modern architectural wonders while respecting and celebrating our historical and cultural roots.
Courtesy: India Today