New Zealand Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Gaurav Sharma on Wednesday scripted history by becoming the first parliamentarian of Indian origin to take oath in Sanskrit language on foreign land. 33-year-old Dr Sharma, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, was recently elected as an MP from the Labour Party in New Zealand. Also Read - New Zealand Cops Dance to ‘Kala Chashma’ & 'Kar Gayi Chull' on Diwali, Set Twitter on Fire | Watch
Dr Sharma said that he speaks multiple Indian languages and wanted to choose a language that would represent a wide range of current languages spoken in India.
“I, Gaurav Sharma, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the second and her successors according to law, so help me God,” he said during the swearing-in session in New Zealand’s Parliament.
Watch the video here:
In a tweet, Muktesh Pardeshi, High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, said: “@gmsharmanz one of the youngest, newly elected MP in NZ Parliament took oath today, first in NZ’s indigenous Maori language, followed by India’s classical language- Sanskrit, showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand.”
While responding to a tweet that asked why he did not speak in Hindi, Dr Sharma said: “To be honest I did think of that, but then there was the question of doing it in Pahari (my first language) or Punjabi. Hard to keep everyone happy. Sanskrit made sense as it pays homage to all the Indian languages (including the many I can’t speak)”.
The video of the ceremony has gone viral and Indians are hailing the MP for taking the Indian language to a world platform. Here are some reactions:
Sharma, who is a doctor by profession, had won Hamilton West by defeating Tim Macindoe of the National Party by 4,386 votes. Before that, he had unsuccessfully fought elections in the year 2017.
He is the second Indian-origin leader in the world to take oath in Sanskrit, after Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who took the oath of office on July 16 this year.