Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha stands out in Kodava traditional attire
New Delhi: Linguistic diversity of India was on full display in the Lok Sabha yesterday when newly elected and re-elected members took oath in their mother tongues as the 17th Lok Sabha commenced proceedings.
Going a step further, some Parliamentarians including Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya were dressed in traditional attires. While Simha wore a Kodava traditional dress, complete with Kupya, Chele and Peeche Kathi, Surya was dressed in silk dhoti, white shirt and a saffron shalya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took oath in Hindi while many MPs preferred to do so in various regional languages.
Pratap Simha, Tejasvi Surya, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Sadananda Gowda, Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish, Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, Bengaluru Rural MP D.K. Suresh, all hailing from Karnataka, took oath in Kannada.
While most of the 28 MPs from Karnataka (25 from BJP) took oath in Kannada, the exception was Union Minister Suresh Angadi, MP from Belagavi, who preferred to take oath in English. When Sumalatha, who trounced Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in Mandya, walked into the Well of the House to take oath, she received a loud applause.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, an ENT surgeon, left other MPs in the House surprised when he completed his oath in Sanskrit. Ministers of State Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Pratap Chandra Sarangi also took the oath in Sanskrit. Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde also took oath in Sanskrit.
It was a surprise to many when Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh from Kerala chose to take oath, not in English or his mother tongue Malayalam, but in Hindi.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur, who had taken oath in English as Union Minister on May 30, yesterday preferred to take oath in Punjabi. Union Cabinet Minister Rameshwar Theli and Kripanath Mallah, and Naba Kumar Saranai took oaths in Assamese. Raiganj MP Debasree Chaudhuri took oath in Bengali and Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy also took oath in Bengali. Shiv Sena MP and Cabinet Minister Arvind Sawan used Marathi to take his oath while Union Minister Shripad Yeso Naik used Konkani to take oath.
Pratap Simha, who added a bit of colour to the proceedings by turning up in traditional Kodava attire, said that as he represents Mysuru and Kodagu that has a unique and distinct culture, it was his duty to reflect the same in the Parliament.
He said that his wife Arpitha Simha coaxed him to wear the Kodava dress. “For us Kannadigas, Kannada is not just a language. The entire culture and our feelings are encompassed within the language. Likewise for Kodavas, their language, attire, culture and practices is everything. I am proud of representing the Kodava culture in Parliament,” he said. “Many people whom I met in this August House have appreciated my dress,” the MP added.