A Look Back at Special Sessions of the Indian Parliament

The Indian Parliament, the bedrock of our nation's democracy.

The Indian Parliament, the bedrock of our nation’s democracy, has a rich history of convening special sessions to tackle pressing issues and mark significant milestones. While the term “special session” is not explicitly enshrined in the Indian Constitution, these gatherings have played a pivotal role in sculpting our political landscape. With the 5-day long special session going from September- 22, let’s embark on a journey through some remarkable special sessions of the Indian Parliament:

1947: The Midnight Session

The inaugural special session of Parliament took place at midnight on August 14 and 15, celebrating India’s independence and the end of British rule. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s iconic “tryst with destiny” speech echoed through this historic session.

1962: Amidst Conflict

In the midst of the Sino-Indian War, a special parliamentary session was convened on November 8 to deliberate the ongoing conflict. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru expedited the winter session to address the urgent situation.

1972: A Freedom Anniversary

On August 15, a special session marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of India’s liberation from colonial rule.

1977: Addressing State Matters

A two-day special session convened on February 28 to discuss the extension of the President’s Rule in the states of Nagaland and Tamil Nadu. This session represented the 99th gathering of the Rajya Sabha.

1991: State of Haryana

In June, Rajya Sabha members gathered to secure the endorsement of the President’s Rule in Haryana. This session was convened while the Lok Sabha remained dissolved.

1992: Quit India Movement Anniversary

A special midnight session on August 9 commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Quit India Movement.

1997: Reflecting on Democracy

A midnight session on August 15 celebrated the 50th anniversary of India’s independence. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Leader of the Opposition party, initiated discussions on a myriad of topics during the six-day special session.

2008: No-Confidence Motion

In July, the Lok Sabha convened a special session when the UPA government lost coalition support from the Left parties, precipitating a no-confidence motion.

2012: 60th Anniversary Celebration

On May 13, the Lok Sabha held a special session on a Sunday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the inaugural sitting of the Indian Parliament.

2015: Celebrating the Constitution

A two-day special session on November 26 celebrated the adoption of the Constitution in 1949 and marked the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. BR Ambedkar.

2017: GST Reform

On June 30, a joint midnight session of both houses introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a momentous indirect tax reform since India’s independence.

2023: The Ongoing Special Session

The Modi Government has called for a special session of Parliament from September 18 to 22. The newly constructed Sansad Bhavan will witness House proceedings commencing on September 19, coinciding with Ganesh Chaturthi. The session will include the newly-formed Opposition Alliance INDIA and discussions on pressing issues such as inflation, unemployment, the ongoing violence in Manipur, the Adani scandal, communal tensions, and the need for a caste census. Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has urged PM Modi to facilitate discussions on these “matters of public importance.”

These special sessions of the Indian Parliament have been pivotal moments in our nation’s history, addressing critical issues and commemorating significant milestones in our democratic journey. They continue to play a significant role in shaping the future of our great nation.

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