With newly-elected Members of Parliament turning up in attires signifying unique characteristics of different regions, Parliament, on the inaugural day of the 15th Lok Sabha on Monday, virtually presented a microcosm of India — reflecting all its cultural and linguistic diversities.
With the acrimony of the election campaign left behind, it was as much a moment of both celebration and reflection for them.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put things in perspective when he said that the new Lok Sabha represents a “new beginning”.
“I sincerely hope we will make a new beginning and that Parliament will be allowed to run smoothly”, Singh told reporters.
The importance of the occasion was not lost on the representatives of any political parties/groups. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members stood out in bright yellow coloured shirts — competing for attention with Mamata Banerjee’s dhoti-kurta brigade.
Congress member from Arunachal Takom Sanjay wore a dark blue jacket and a yellow headgear that had feathers sticking out.
Some MPs took their oath in Oriya, some in Telugu or Kannada, while Sumitra Mahajan (BJP) took her vow in Sanskrit. Pro-tem Speaker Manikrao Gavit presided over the session
The oath-taking ceremony is expected to continue til Tuesday. On Wednesday, the House will elect its Speaker. Congress leader Meira Kumar — nominated to the post by her party — told reporters that she had already resigned as Union minister.
The present Lok Sabha provides for possibly the largest gathering of members related to one another. It was a special occasion for fathers, daughters, sons and cousins who came under one roof on Monday.
About 100 members of the 15th Lok Sabha are related to one another.