Bhattacharjee greets Yadav at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital on Friday. Picture by Amit Datta
Calcutta, Jan. 28: Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav had a homecoming of sorts on Friday when he returned to the city where he had studied medicine 33 years ago and said it felt like his nijer bari.
Students applauded when Yadav, on the 177th Foundation Day of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, declared: Ami ei same campus-e dosh bochhor chhilam. Nijer barite phire eshechhi mone hochchhe (I was on this campus for 10 years. It feels as if Im back home).
The President greeted his audience, mostly doctors, teachers and medical students, with namaskar and shubhechchha (best wishes).
Aami Nepal-e jonmechhi. Kintu ami amar jiboner doshta bochhor ei Kolkatai katiyechhi. Prothome Calcutta Medical College-ey, tarpor School of Tropical Medicine-ey. Ekhane eshe mone hochchhe jano nijer barite eshechhi. (I was born in Nepal. But I have spent 10 years of my life in Calcutta, first at Calcutta Medical College, then at the School of Tropical Medicine. Coming here after so many years I feel like I am back home), the 62-year-old said in halting but flawless Bengali.
Siddhartha Chakraborty, the medical superintendent and vice-principal of the college who was a year senior to Yadav as a student, said the President had studied MBBS in the institute from 1968 to 1975. Yadav then worked as an intern and a house staff before joining the School of Tropical Medicine.
After studying in Calcutta, Yadav returned to Nepal and later did his MD from PGI, Chandigarh.
I can still speak Bengali. It feels great. I had friends here, Yadav said.
The event ended with 146 interns taking the Hippocratic oath.
In the second session, the President had a special meeting with the alumni of his alma mater. Some of them recognised their classmate and shook hands with him.
Although Nepals presidency is largely a ceremonial job, a protracted political logjam could propel Yadav into playing a central role in Nepali polity in the months to come.
Yadav had created a stir in Nepal by insisting on taking his oath in Hindi instead of Nepali.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his colleagues, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra and labour minister Anadi Sahu, were among those on the dais along with Calcutta University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das.
Tomorrow, Yadav will visit Santiniketan.