The linguistic and sartorial diversity of India was on full display today at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, as councillors took the oath in native languages, including Urdu, Maithili and Punjabi. The use of native languages by some of the councillors, drew loud cheers from the gathering cutting across party lines. Most of the councillors took the oath of office in Hindi, but some chose to tread a different path. They read out the pledge in their native tongues or the languages they are most comfortable in. AAP councillor (Rithala) Ajit Kumar Jha chose Maithili as did BJP's Poonam Parashar Jha (Mubarak Pur Dabas ward). Ajit came to the swearing-in ceremony dressed up in a traditional Mithila dress-- dhoti, kurta and paag (headgear), decorated with Madhubani painting-- catching quite an eye. The Poorvanchali and the Bihari community people residing in Delhi is considered a major vote bank and all parties had tried to woo them during the campaigning. "I hail from Madhubani in Bihar and have been living in Delhi for several years now.
We are proud of our language, attire and culture, and so I came today in our traditional wear," the Rithala councillor told PTI. Few other women councillors too took the oath in Maithili, their fellow councillors cheering and applauding. First-time councillors, Avtar Sigh, took the oath in Punjabi. Avtar signed off with a 'Jo Bole So Nihal', throwing the audience into raptures, while Paramjeet's rendition of the religious couplet -- 'Wahe Guru Ji Da Khlasa, Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh'-- was chanted by others as well. But, perhaps the loudest cheer was produced after Congress' Jama Masjid councillor Sultana Abad took the oath in Urdu. She signed off with 'Hindustan Zindabad' as fellow councillors acknowledged the gesture with equal enthusiasm. Aaley Mohammed Iqbal (Delhi Gate) and Seema Tahira (Bazar Sita Ram), both Congress councillors, also took the oath in Urdu. They both had brought in a printed Urdu translation of the official pledge text, which is written in Hindi. And, adding more colour to the spectrum of diversity, Congress' Prerna Singh (Anand Parbat ward) took the oath in English.
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