Traditional Indian wear with hues of saffron and use of Hindi language for oath-taking were the overriding themes at the glittering swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers of the new NDA government. The mega event took place in the sprawling forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan which was attended by heads of states of various countries and a galaxy of other high-profile guests. Among the ministers who were sworn in, most of them chose to take oath in Hindi while the rest did it in English.
In a sartorial sense too, kurta-pyjama was the dominating theme as most of the MPs turned up in kurta-pyjama, colourful waistcoat or their traditional dresses, while a few chose to wear shirts and trousers. The crowd cheered the most when Modi took his oath in Hindi and someone in the crowd shouted 'Bharat Mata Ki 'Jai' just before he was sworn-in.
Dressed in crisp pyjama-kurta and a grey waistcoat, Modi, who arrived at the venue at 7 PM, greeted the people at the event with folded hands and a gentle bow as the crowd cheered him. Even after he had taken oath, people continued to cheer Modi and chanted 'Modi Modi', 'Jai Shri Ram', 'Har Har Mahadev'.
BJP chief Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, who will make the transition from being Rajya Sabha members to that of Lok Sabha, were also greeted enthusiastically by the crowd when they came to take oath in Hindi. Hardeep Singh Puri was sworn in as a minister of state (independent charge), and was greeted with cheers of 'Jo bole so nihaal' as he took oath in English, wearing a light orange waistcoat over a kurta-pyjama accessorised with a mauve-coloured turban.
A couple of MPs were corrected by President Ram Nath Kovind during the swearing-in for error of omission and mispronunciation of words. MPs Mansukh Mandaviya (was Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat), G Kishan Reddy (Secunderabad, Telengana), Faggansingh Kulaste (former Minister of State for Healthin previous Modi government), Angadi Suresh Channabasappa (Belagavi, Karnataka) and Nityanand Rai (Ujiyarpur, Bihar) were pointed by the President when they either forgot to utter a word or mispronounced it.
The ceremony also witnessed showbiz stars rubbing shoulders with political leaders and corporate honchos like Ratan Tata, Muskesh Ambani and wife Nita Ambani, as they watched President Kovind administer the oath of office to India's 58 new ministers. The crowd had a lot of youth in the audience too and many of them were seen taking selfies with Olympian boxer Mary Kom, MP Tejasvi Surya from Bangalore South constituency and others. South Indian superstar Rajinikanth, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, Karan Johar, Asha Bhosle, Vivek Oberoi and Pallavi Joshi were also among the attendees.
Ex-servicemen wearing ceremonial hats were also seen in the audience. The ceremony also saw many MPs donning their traditional wear for the event with white kurta-pyjama being sported by most of the newly-elected lawmakers, topped with a saffron waistcoat, while five of the women MPs who took oath -- Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Debasree Chaudhuri, Renuka Singh Saruta -- wore sarees, while Harsimrat Kaur Badal wore a Punjabi salwar suit.
G Kishan Reddy came wearing a traditional Telengana dress and a headgear, Kiren Rijiju sported striped northeast waistcoat, Bikaner MP Arjun Ram Meghwal took oath in traditional Rajasthani dress and a colourful Bikaneri headgear. Former prime minister Mammohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Navi Azad, BJP veteran L K Adavni, Sushma Swaraj, J P Nadda, Sumitra Mahajan, Shashi Tharoor, Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath also attended the event.