Suriname's Indian-origin President Chandrika Parasad Santokhi takes oath in Sanskrit
New Delhi, July 27: As a pride moment for all the Indians, Suriname's new President Chandrika Parasad Santokhi took the oath of office holding the Vedas and began it with Vedic hymns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his monthly "Mann ki Baat" radio address on Sunday. PM Modi further Santokhi, Modi said, started his oath with Vedic hymns and spoke in Sanskrit.
He referred to the Vedas and concluded his oath with 'Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti', the prime minister observed.
"Holding the Vedas in his hand he said, 'I, Chandrika Prasad Santokhi', and, further what did he say in his oath? He recited a hymn from the Vedas itself. He said, 'hey Agni, fire, the god of resolve, I am taking an oath. Give me strength and capability for this. Bless me so that I keep away from untruth and move towards truth'. Truly, this, for all of us, is a matter of pride" PM Modi said.
He congratulated Santokhi and wished him the best on behalf of Indians for serving his nation. India has a very close relationship with Suriname.
More than a hundred years ago, people from India went there and made it their home. Today, the fourth or the fifth generation is there. Today in Suriname more than one-fourth of the people are of Indian origin. 'Sarnami' one of the common languages there is a dialect of Bhojpuri.
Santokhi replaced Desi Bouterse to become the new president of the South American nation.
Santokhi was born on February 3, 1959, and grew up in the countryside as the youngest in a family of nine children. He studied at the Police Academy of the Netherlands in Apeldoorn for four years and returned to Suriname in September 1982 to work for the police.