Indian-origin doctor elected as New Zealand MP

Dr Gaurav Sharma was elected as an MP in Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet and took oath in two languages, including Sanskrit
Indian-origin doctor elected as New Zealand MP

New Delhi: Indian-origin Dr Gaurav Sharma, who was elected as a member of the New Zealand Parliament, created history on Wednesday when he took oath in Sanskrit.

Dr Gaurav Sharma, 33-year-old, 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 both India and New Zealand," High Commission tweeted to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi.

When asked the reason behind choosing Sanskrit and not Hindi, Dr Sharma answered, "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)."

Gaurav Sharma was the candidate of the Labour Party and defeated Tim Macindoe of the National Party by 4,386 votes. He is a doctor by profession and had won from Hamilton West.

He had moved to New Zealand in 1996.

Sharma said his family had been through very difficult times because his father couldn't get a job for six years, which is why he decided to be in politics for social service.

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