GUWAHATI: Sanskrit reverberated in the Assam Assembly on Wednesday when actor-turned-politician Angoorlata Deka of the BJP took the lead in taking oath in the language, much to the surprise of many.
Last week, she grabbed the attention of the national media following filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma’s “sexist” remarks about her.
“Some ancient Indian languages are slowly getting lost with the passage of time. I thought we should give preference to them,” Angoorlata, who acted in 18 Assamese feature and short films, told Express.
A graduate in humanities, the actor studied Sanskrit up to Class X. Deka, who came wearing her wedding dress, said Sanskrit was her favourite language. “As the government takes its tempo, I will urge the Chief Minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) to take steps to promote and popularise the language,” she said. The Assembly had no idea that she would take her oath in Sanskrit. After her, two other MLAs, both from the BJP, took their oath in the language. Angoorlata said her decision was well received by her friends and fans. Her constituency Batadrava is the birthplace of 15th century saint-reformer Sankardeva.
“If MLA can look like this, achche din aagaye hai. Thank you Angoorlataji, Thank you Modiji. 1st time I love politics,” Bollywood director Verma tweeted on May 23. She defeated three-time MLA and former minister Gautam Bora. Social media was abuzz with comments that more than anything else it was her looks that helped her defeat the Congress heavyweight.
Sonowal and 124 other newly elected members took oath on the first day of the three-day session. BJP legislator Ranjit Das was elected Speaker unopposed.
Angoorlata is the first to take oath in Sanskrit in the Assam Assembly.