A doctor-turned-politician Dr. Sharma hails from Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh. He 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.
When he was 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 became 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.
Dr Gaurav Sharma had moved to New Zealand in 1996. His father couldn’t get a job for six years, due to which the family went through 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.
Soon, his tweet was flooded with appreciation for making India proud. Many people including Indian politicians showered praises on him on the occasion.