Congratulating Chandrika Parasad Santokhi, who has become the new President of Suriname, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday noted that ‘Sarnami’, one of the common languages there is a dialect of Bhojpuri and said that Indians feel very proud of these cultural relations.
“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 fifth generation is there. Today in Suriname more than one-fourth of the people are of Indian origin. Do you know? ‘Sarnami’ one of the common languages there is a dialect of Bhojpuri. We Indians feel very proud of these cultural relations,” he said speaking at the 67th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Chandrika Prasad Santokhi started his oath with Veda hymns and that he spoke in Sanskrit.
“Recently Chandrika Parasad Santokhi has become the new President of Suriname. He is a friend of India and he had participated in the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference organised in 2018,” he said.
“Chandrika Prasad Santokhi ji started his oath with Veda hymns; he spoke in Sanskrit. He referred to vedas and concluded his oath with “Om Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:”. Holding the veda in his hand he said- I, Chandrika Prasad Santokhi, and, further what did he say in his oath? He recited a hymn from Veda itself,” the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister then went on to recall the hymn recited by Santokhi. He also told the meaning of the hymn that is — hey Agni, fire, 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 – and said that this, for all of us, is a matter of pride.
“I congratulate Chandrika Prasad Santokhi, and, wish him the best on behalf of 130 crore Indians, for serving his nation,” he said.