Dr Gaurav Sharm, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the New Zealand Parliament.
Recently elected as the Member of Parliament, Sharma, 33, hails from Hamirpur in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
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 in Nawton, Hamilton.
One of the youngest MPs in the parliament, the Labour Party politician represents Hamilton West.
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.
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.