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Parliament moves house: CPI(M)’s Mohammad Salim recalls ‘openness’ of old building redolent of India’s history, journey

The CPI(M)’s Politburo member and its West Bengal secretary, Mohammad Salim, says the old Parliament House has always evoked “great nostalgia”. Salim had been a member of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha twice.

“The old Parliament building is grandiose, which you feel as soon as you enter it. There is so much history attached to it – from pre-Independence times. It is not a colonial building despite the British having built it. They kept in mind, and incorporated, Indian architecture, which you can see in its round structure, the dome of the Central Hall, the pillars and the red sandstone which is reminiscent of the Red Fort,” Salim says.

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“You fall in love with the building as soon as you enter it. It is tied in closely to India’s history and journey, including our freedom struggle, as this is where Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw bombs in the Central Assembly, and you can trace the evolution of Indian democracy here,” the CPI(M) leader says.

While agreeing that there have been some issues concerning the old edifice in the past such as shortage of space and modern amenities, Salim says there is an “openness” in the nature of the building’s architecture.

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“The round structure, with the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the Central Hall in the middle, ensures that whenever you come out you automatically meet everyone from different parties. It isn’t like an office or a five-star hotel where you have closed off private spaces. There was more interaction between the members due to the nature of the building. This was indeed unique,” Salim recalls.

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