In a moment of pride for Indians, Suriname’s newly-elected President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, amazed everyone after he took the oath of office in Sanskrit while holding Vedas during the inauguration ceremony on July 16. Also Read - 'Not Our Job to Provide Religious Books': Assam Govt to Close Down State-run Madrasas, Sanskrit Learning Centres
The incident came to light after Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the same in his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio address on Sunday.
Notably, Santokhi has become the ninth president of the South American country after replacing Desi Bouterse from the top post. During the oath-taking ceremony, Santokhi repeated the Sanskrit verses chanted by the priest.
Watch the video here:
Soon after, the video went viral with Indians being amazed to watch a foreign leader take oath in Sanskrit.
On Sunday, PM Modi also congratulated the newly elected president and said, “India has a very close relationship with ‘Suriname’. More than a hundred years ago, people from India went there, and made it their home. Today, the fourth or fifth generation is there. Today in Suriname more than one-fourth of the people are of Indian origin. Do you know? ‘Sarnami’ one of the common languages there is a dialect of Bhojpuri. We Indians feel very proud of these cultural relations.”
Santokhi was born on February 3, 1959, and grew up in the countryside as the youngest in a family of nine children. He studied at the Police Academy of the Netherlands in Apeldoorn for four years and returned to Suriname in September 1982 to work for the police. In 1991, Santokhi was appointed chief commissioner of police.