Dr. Gaurav Sharma, who was elected as a member of Parliament in New Zealand, took oath in New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language and Sanskrit, a classical language from India.
A doctor-turned-politician Dr. Sharma, hails from Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh. He had won the election from Hamilton West as the ruling Labour Party candidate. He had defeated Tim Macindoe of the National Party by over 4,386 votes.
When a Twitter user asked the reason behind choosing Sanskrit over Hindi for oath-taking, Dr. Sharma replied, “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).”
Dr. Sharma was the first member of Indian origin to take oath in Sanskrit in New Zealand Parliament, and second political leader in the world to take an oath in Sanskrit overseas. Suriname’s Indian-origin President Chandrikapersad Santokhi took oath in Sanskrit in July, with a copy of the Vedas in his hands.
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