Indian-origin Dr Gaurav Sharma, who was elected as a member of the New Zealand Parliament, created history on Wednesday when he took oath in Sanskrit.
The 33-year-old, Dr Gaurav Sharma originally hails from Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh and had won the election as a Labour Party candidate from Hamilton West.
“Dr Gaurav Sharma, 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,” tweeted High Commission to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi.
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 https://t.co/q1A3eb27z3
— Dr Gaurav Sharma MP (@gmsharmanz November 25, 2020
When asked the reason behind choosing Sanskrit and not Hindi, Dr Gaurav Sharma wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Gaurav Sharma, a doctor by profession, had won from Hamilton West. He was the candidate of the Labour Party and defeated Tim Macindoe of the National Party by over 4,386 votes. He had earlier fought the elections in 2017.
Dr Gaurav Sharma told The Tribune that he moved to New Zealand in 1996.
He said his father couldn’t get a job for six years and so the family saw a difficult time.
“I am in politics for social service, as my family had gone through a lot of hardships. What really helped us was social security, which New Zealand did really well — not so much now, though,” the Indian-origin MP was quoted as saying by The Tribune.