It was a new beginning and experience for the legislators who stepped into the House on Monday, the first day of the 28-day ninth session of the 13th Kerala Legislative Assembly, as Malayalam was used by the legislature in its functioning and communication.
The welcome message to the legislators in English in the giant screen and two other screens installed in the House gave way to ‘Pathimunnam Kerala Niyamasabha Onpatham Sammelanathenu Swagatham’ in Malayalam.
For the first time, the assembly heard the customary announcement of the entry of the Speaker into the House being made in Malayalam by the marshal. “Honourable members, Mr. Speaker”, the announcement to inform the arrival of the Speaker to the House every day at 8.30 a.m. gave way for “Bahumanapetta Angangale, Bahaumanapetta Sabha Adhyakshan”.
Instead of Good Morning, the legislators greeted the Speaker with ‘Namaskaram’. The changes have been made since Malayalam has attained the status of classical language.
After the National Anthem when the Speaker, G. Kartikeyan called the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy to reply to the questions, the screens displayed “Honourable Speaker and Oommen Chandy’ in English to the surprise of the legislators. And the display in English continued during the question hour.
The Chief Minister, during the course of a reply to a question on improving the administrative machinery, pointed out that he was a member of the House since 1970 and the use of Malayalam in the functioning of the legislature it was a ‘new experience’ for him.
Already, the legislature has begun the process of creating a Malayalam vocabulary to be used during assembly proceedings as per the directive of the Speaker. About 95 per cent of the files in the Legislature Secretariat now were in Malayalam.