Canadian MP`s speech in Kannada in Parliament earns praise on social media


A speech in the Canadian Parliament by a Canadian MP in his native language Kannada has gone viral on social media, earning him praise for his love of his native language.

Chandra Arya, a Member of Parliament from Nepean, is from Dwaralu, a small village in Sira Taluk in Tumakuru district of Karnataka. “I spoke in my native (first language) Kannada in the Canadian parliament. This beautiful language has (a) long history and is spoken by about 50 million people. This is the first time Kannada has been spoken in a parliament in the world outside of India,” Arya tweeted with a minute-long video of his speech in Kannada, which received a standing ovation from some of his parliamentary colleagues.

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“Dear Speaker, I am glad to have been given the opportunity to speak in Kannada in the Canadian Parliament. It is a proud moment for 5 crore Kannadigas that a man born in Sira Taluk’s Dwaralu village in Tumkur (Tumakuru) district from an Indian state of Karnataka, has been elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada has spoken in Kannada,” he said in his Kannada address. Noting that the Kannadigas of Canada had celebrated Kannada ‘Rajyotsava’ in 2018 in the Canadian Parliament, he said, “I would like to end my statement with (a) few words of the song written by RashtraKavi Kuvempu and sung by Natasaarvabhowma Dr Rajkumar-Elladaru Iru Enthadaru Iru, Endendigu Nee Kannadavaagiru (Wherever you stay, however you are, always be a Kannadiga). Thank you speaker.” Chandra Arya, son of retired Deputy Trade Tax Commissioner K Govinda Iyer, is a Liberal Party politician.

Basavaraj Bommai, the chief minister of Karnataka, appreciated Arya’s speech and said that he has spread the essence of Kannada to the world stage. “Sincere kudos to Chandra Arya for proving that no matter how big a person may grow in his life, he should always remember his roots. Elladaru Iru Enthadaru Iru, Endendigu Nee Kannadavaagiru,” he tweeted. Minister of Large and Medium Industries Murugesh R Nirani said: “It is an absolute honor to see the language of our country, Kannada, spoken in the Canadian Parliament. It fills us all with tremendous pride.”

Arya’s speech was also applauded by social media netizens.

Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar said, “It makes me happy to see our great Kannada language spoken in the Canadian Parliament. A great idea from Sri Chandra Arya. Kannadigas all over the world should raise the flag of exalt our mother tongue.” Arya had recently urged the Canadian people and government to recognize the difference between the ‘swastika’, an ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus, and the 20th century Nazi symbol ‘Hakenkreuz’, pointing out that there is no agreement between the two is.

With input from PTI

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