Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, created history on Wednesday when he took oath in Sanskrit in the country’s Parliament.
Dr Gaurav Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur, moved to New Zealand in 1996 and was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labour Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand. Dr 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. He had earlier fought the elections in 2017. Dr Gaurav Sharma told The Tribune that he moved to New Zealand in 1996.
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.” 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).”