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Indian-origin New Zealand MP Scripts History by Taking Oath in Sanskrit, Wins Desi Hearts

Indian-Kiwi MP Dr Gaurav Sharma, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, taking oath in New Zealand's Parliament | Credit: Twitter

Indian-Kiwi MP Dr Gaurav Sharma, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, taking oath in New Zealand's Parliament | Credit: Twitter

Dr Gaurav Sharma took oath first in New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language, followed by India’s classical language - Sanskrit, showing deep respect for the cultural traditions of both India and NZ.

Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the country’s Parliament.

Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur, was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labour Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand.

India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, Muktesh Pardeshi said on Twitter that Sharma took oath first in “New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language, followed by India’s classical language - Sanskrit, showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand.” Sharma, who did his MBBS from Auckland and MBA from Washington, is working as a General Practitioner (GP) in Nawton, Hamilton. He has previously been involved in public health, policy, medicine and consulting in New Zealand, Spain, the US, Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia, Switzerland and India.

Replying to a Twitter user who asked why he didn't take oath in Hindi, Sharma said it is hard to keep everyone happy so he decided Sanskrit as it pays homage to all the Indian languages.

“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),” he said in a tweet.

Videos of the oath-taking have been going viral on social media. Many praised the MP for taking the Indian language to a world platform.

Sharma, who had unsuccessfully fought elections in 2017, defeated Tim Macindoe of the National Party this year.

Earlier this month, Priyanca Radhakrishnan became New Zealand’s first-ever Indian-origin minister after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inducted five new ministers into her executive. Born in India, Radhakrishnan, 41, went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand to further her education.

(Wih inputs from PTI)

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