Karnataka-Born Canadian MP Chandra Arya Draws Praise For Addressing Parliament In Kannada
The Trudeau-allied Liberal Party MP, who represents the district of Nepean in Canada’s capital city Ottawa, thanked the parliament for their support and inclusivity,
Whilst India’s government continues to grapple with questions surrounding the use of regional languages, the Canadian parliament witnessed a historical moment this week as MP Chandra Arya delivered a speech in his native tongue, Kannada.
I spoke in my mother tongue (first language) Kannada in Canadian parliament.— Chandra Arya (@AryaCanada) May 19, 2022
This beautiful language has long history and is spoken by about 50 million people.
This is the first time Kannada is spoken in any parliament in the world outside of India. pic.twitter.com/AUanNlkETT
“This is the first time Kannada is spoken in any parliament in the world outside of India,” explained Arya in a tweet. The Trudeau-allied Liberal Party MP, who represents the district of Nepean in Canada’s capital city Ottawa, thanked the parliament for their strong show of support and inclusivity, something several governments the world over could learn from.
“It is a matter of pride for 5 crore Kannadigas that a Canadian MP from Sira taluk of Karnataka’s Tumakuru district is speaking in Kannada,” he stated, referring to his home district on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Arya capped off his speech with a few lines from 20th century Kannada poet Kuvempu. “Elladare iru, enthadaru iru, nee Kannadavagiru”, he said, which translates to: “Wherever you are, however you are, always be a Kannadiga”.
The MP’s words touched millions of Kannadigas around the world, and plenty of support and appreciation poured in since his video went viral:
That’s the beauty of democracy. You are allowed to speak in a language which is completely alien to Canada but here in the land where it originated, like many other languages of the country, it is subjugated under a false claim of Hindi supremacy.— Donald D’Souza (@donaldsvd) May 20, 2022
Thank you Chandra Arya for making Kannadigas proud. You have done it again. Hope this will inspire more of our Karnataka politicians to use Kannada in Indian Parliament.— PLE Karnataka (@PLEKarnataka) May 19, 2022
According to Hindustan Times, Chandra has a strong background in social work for immigrants: he is on the board of Invest Ottawa Unity Non-Profit Housing Corporation Ottawa and was the Vice President of Ottawa Community Immigrants Services Organization. He is also the Chair of Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber and founder-director of Federation of Canadian Brazilian Businesses.
(Featured Image Credits: @AryaCanada/Twitter, https://chandraarya.liberal.ca/)