India-born Canadian MP Chandra Arya speaks in Kannada in Parliament, wins hearts

India-born Canadian member of Parliament Chandra Arya said the fact that a person from a village in Karnataka was speaking in Kannada was a matter of pride for 5 crore Kannadigas
Chandra Arya , who spoke in Kannada in Canadian parliament, hails from Dwaralu village in Shira taluka of Tumakuru district in Karnataka. (Twitter/screengrab)
Chandra Arya , who spoke in Kannada in Canadian parliament, hails from Dwaralu village in Shira taluka of Tumakuru district in Karnataka. (Twitter/screengrab)
Updated on May 20, 2022 12:10 PM IST
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BENGALURU: A speech made in Kannada by the India-born Canadian member of Parliament has gone viral on social media, attracting huge attention and fueling the debate on the importance given to the native tongue.

“I spoke in my mother tongue (first language) Kannada in Canadian parliament. 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,” Chandra Arya, the MP from Nepean in Ontario said in a post on Twitter.

Chandra Arya also uploaded a one-minute video of his speech.

Chandra 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.

Chandra hails from Dwaralu village in Shira taluka of Tumakuru district, about 70 km from Karnataka capital Bengaluru.

“A person from the country of India in Karnataka, Tumakuru district, Shira taluka, Dwaralu village has been elected to the parliament of Canada and speaking in Kannada is a matter of pride for 5 crore Kannadigas,” he said in the speech.

He added that in 2018, Kannadigas celebrated Kannada Rajyotsava in the same parliament.

He ended his speech with a quote from a passage by Kuvempu, considered the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century: “Yelladharu iru, Yenthadaaru iru, yendendigu nee Kannadavagiru” (Wherever you stay, however you are, always be a Kannadiga).

Kuvempu, the first Kannada writer to receive the Jnanpith Award, was decorated with the honorific Rashtrakavi (national poet) for his contribution to Kannada literature by the Karanataka government.

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