By Olivia Singh | 31st October 2022
Rishi Sunak is now the new Prime Minister of the UK. 193 MPs pledged their support to Sunak and 26 MPs backed Penny Mordaunt, according to BBC News. The pound rose against the dollar after Sunak was announced as the leadership race winner, and the markets reacting positively to his victory proves that he is trusted to stabilise the British economy.
Sunak has always made it clear that he is proud to be a British Indian Hindu, he will work for the betterment of the British people and take forward his cultural and religious values whilst doing so. When he became an MP, he swore his oath of allegiance on the Bhagavad Gita. He has also stated that he is proud of his cultural and religious heritage:
“I am now a citizen of Britain. But my religion is Hindu. My religious and cultural heritage is Indian. I proudly say that I am a Hindu, and my identity is also a Hindu.”
Sunak becoming Prime Minister is significant for Britons and Indians all over the world as he is the first British Indian, Hindu person to become Prime Minister. An Indian-origin person has become the face of Britain and is representing Indians on the world stage like never before. More people from ethnic minority backgrounds in Britain will feel confident to pursue a career in politics, as Sunak is of Indian origin. Sunak’s win highlights the UK’s embrace of cultural diversity and is a time of celebration for many Hindus, especially as he won the leadership race on Diwali.
This is a historic moment and milestone in Britain’s evolution as a multi-cultural and multi-faith society. Relations between Britain and India also have high potential to strengthen – Sunak has stated how the UK-India relationship is important and how the relationship can be developed. During a campaign hustings event hosted in north London on Monday evening by the Conservative Friends of India (CFIN) diaspora organisation, the former chancellor said he wanted to bring a change in the relationship between Britain and India:
“We are all very aware of the opportunity for the UK to sell things and do things in India, but actually we need to look at that relationship differently because there is an enormous amount that we here in the UK can learn from India,” he said.
“I want to make sure that it’s easy for our students to also travel to India and learn, that it’s also easy for our companies and Indian companies to work together because it’s not just a one-way relationship, it’s a two-way relationship, and that’s the type of change I want to bring to that relationship,” he said.
The University of Oxford-backed British Indian think tank, The 1928 Institute, has said:
“It is incredible to see a British Indian as PM. Many of our grandparents were British subjects and now to see someone of Indian heritage in the UK’s highest office is truly wonderful.”
The 1928 Institute has also said that Sunak’s win is a major achievement, however more diversity is still needed in the government – he will be judged by his policies by the think tank:
“Breaking this glass ceiling is a major achievement but we need more diversity in our government.”
“We will judge Rishi by his policies and hope that our shared values across the diaspora such as seva, particularly with regards to minority and marginalised communities, are part of his leadership.”
For Sunak to reach the stage that he has proves that merit is valued in Britain, no matter what background you come from. Sunak is set to make history as Britain’s first Indian-origin, Hindu Prime Minister.