Lok Sabha members were in for a pleasant surprise yesterday when Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is fluent in Tamil and English, spoke a sentence in Bhojpuri, earning praise from Meira Kumar.
Chidambaram was replying to a calling attention motion on the need to give Bhojpuri the status of an official language. “Hum sabke bhawna samjhat bani (I understand the sentiments of all of you),” Chidambaram said, surprising the members.
The packed House erupted into elation, with members thumping their desks in appreciation. The home minister promised to expedite the process of considering the reports of two committees regarding Bhojpuri.
Meira Kumar, who is from Bihar, said it was a matter of great joy that Chidambaram, whom she has never heard even speak in Hindi, spoke briefly in Bhojpuri. She expressed hope that the minister will return to the House soon with the “happy news” that Bhojpuri is an official language.