It was a display of India’s language diversity on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday. When pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar administered the oath of affirmation, several members chose their mother tongue over Hindi or English.
Hindi was the most preferred language for many members including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Almost all members elected from Karnataka, including union ministers Sadananda Gowda and Pralhad Joshi took their oaths in Kannada. Ananthkumar Hegde took the oath in Sanskrit.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was the first member to take the oath in Sanskrit. Nishikant Dubey, Meenakshi Lekhi, Pragya Thakur and Sunita Duggal were among those who took the oath in Sanskrit.
MoS PMO Jitendra Singh took the oath in Dogri, while National Conference members Mohammad Akbar Lone and Farooq Abdullah took the oath in Kashmiri.
Congress member Kodikunnil Suresh from Kerala, who was one of the members of the panel who conduct the proceedings in the absence of the pro-tem Speaker, took his oath in Hindi to the surprise of many members.
Bhartruhari Mahtab took the oath in Odiya, while Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal preferred Punjabi.
Union Minister Rameshwar Teli and two other members took their oaths in Assamese, while the lone Shiv Sena Minister Arvind Sawant took his oath in Marathi. Union Minister Shripad Naik took the oath in Konkani.
Some members from Andhra Pradesh such as MVV Sathyanarayana and Avinash Reddy took their oaths in Telugu. Shankar Lalwani took the oath in Sindhi, while Shardaben Patel and Dipsinh Rathod chose Gujarati as their language for affirmation.
A couple of members from Kerala took the oath in Malayalam. Rahul Gandhi, who was elected from Kerala’s Wayanad, took oath in English.
However, when Rewa MP Janardan Mishra sought to take the oath in Bagheli, he was asked to choose another language since translators were not available. He then took oath in Hindi.
The Lok Sabha allows members to speak in English and 22 other Indian languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.