Wellington, November 25: Gaurav Sharma, the newly-elected New Zealand MP, paid homage to his Indian roots by taking oath in Sanskrit language in the national assembly. The language, considered to be as old as 2500 BC, is recognised as 'mother' of most Indian languages and dialects. The video of his oath-taking is being widely viewed on the internet. Gaurav Sharma, Native of Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur, Elected as MP in New Zealand Elections 2020; Know All About The 33-Year-Old Doctor.
Apart from taking oath in Sanskrit, he also decided to be sworn-in in New Zealand's indigenous Maori language. In this way, he succeeded in honouring both the Indian and Kiwi ancient cultural roots.
Watch Video of Gaurav Sharma Taking Oath in NZ Parliament
Sharma, in the recently held general elections, won from the Hamilton West constituency. He was fielded by Jacinda Ardern-led Labour Party, which succeeded in winning a full majority mandate. Her government is considered to be the most racially diverse in New Zealand's history.
Sharma's decision to take oath in Sanskrit was questioned by journalist Michael Field who linked the language to "Brahmin politics" and "casteism". Dismissing his charge, Sharma hit back by asking why Field was using English when the language has been widely used by those practising "colonialism".
"I studied Sanskrit at a small school in a rural part of India where it is a compulsory part of education curriculum for every student, not just one class or culture," the Labour MP said. " If you do want to talk about oppression and class divide, a bit ironical that your mother tongue and your tweet is in English. Colonialism...(sic)," he added.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 25, 2020 04:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).