Sickularism may not be pleased, but reality is bitter nevertheless! Rishi Sunak is the first Hindu to become British Prime Minister, securing the position on Diwali, the festival of lights that marks one of the most important days of the Hindu calendar.
“I can proudly say that I am a Hindu and being a Hindu is my identity,” he has said in a media interview.
Aptly, he said, his faith/Hinduism “gives me strength, it gives me purpose. It’s part of who I am.” “Sunak himself made history in 2020 when he lit Diwali candles outside 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the UK chancellor,” says a CNN report.
Took Oath On Bhagavad Gita
Sunak also made history when he swore his oath to Parliament after the 2017 General Elections with his hand on a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.
Rishi Sunak is said to be the richest man in the House of Commons, while reports claim that his wife Akshata is wealthier than British Queen Elizabeth II with assets worth £430 million. “The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge,” said Rishi Sunak, 42.
“We need stability and unity, and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together,” he pledged.
Messages From World Leaders
CNN headline screamed, ‘Rishi Sunak: The super-rich former banker who will be the first person of colour to lead Britain’ He is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years. He was the last person standing after his rivals – Boris Johnson and the Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt – fell by the wayside.
Speaking after being declared the new Conservative leader, Sunak said he was “honoured and humbled” to become the next Prime Minister.Just seven weeks ago, it looked as if it might be all over for Rishi Sunak.
But in a sign of just how unpredictable British politics has become, Sunak has returned triumphant from the political wilderness to replace Truss, whose premiership imploded recently.
Rishi Sunak has attracted massive attention in the past for his personal wealth. This year, the ‘Sunday Times Rich list’ valued the joint fortune of Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty at £730m and ranked them 222 on the UK’s wealthiest 250 people list.Sunak and Murty own four homes, i.e. two in London, one in Yorkshire and one in LA.
Will Mehbooba Mufti Allow a Hindu CM in J&K?
Mehbooba Mufti has turned neo-liberal, or rather a radical-liberal. She wants a ‘minority’ Prime Minister of India just as Britain has elevated an ethnic minority and a man of Indian origin – Rishi Sunak. Worse, for the ‘sickular’ school of Indian politics – Rishi is a Hindu!
Minorities in India Have Occupied Top Posts Responding to this charge, BJP’s IT Department head Amit Malviya said India has had three Muslim and one Sikh President besides a Sikh Prime Minister for 10 years and minorities in top judicial positions and the Armed Forces. “It need not learn about diversity and inclusivity from any other country. But Mehbooba must walk the talk and back a Hindu for J&K’s CM,” he said.
PDP President and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said it was a proud moment that Indian-origin Sunak was elected as the UK’s Prime Minister but it should also serve as a reminder that Britain has accepted an ethnic minority member as its premier.
However, she said, “we are still shackled by divisive and discriminatory laws like NRC and CAA.” Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor welcomed the development in the UK and hoped one day this practice would be adopted here in India. Tharoor, who recently lost to Mallikarjun Kharge, said, “If this does happen, I think all of us will have to acknowledge that the Brits have done something very rare in the world, to place a member of a visible minority in the most powerful office. As we Indians celebrate the ascent of @RishiSunak, let’s honestly ask: can it happen here.”
Chidambaram tweeted: “First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the US and the UK have embraced the non-majority citizens of their countries and elected them to high office in government”.
He wrote, “I think there is a lesson to be learned by India and the parties that practice majoritarianism.”
The five-bedroom house in Kensington is said to be worth £7m alone. The four storeys house also has a private garden. There is another home in London’s Old Brompton Road, apparently where the extended family stays when they visit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said, “Warmest congratulations @RishiSunak ! As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues, and implementing Roadmap 2030.”
In his congratulatory message, Modi also wrote – “Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership”.
Adopted in 2021 during the stint of Boris Johnson as the UK PM, the ‘Roadmap 2030’ is a framework aimed at strengthening UK-India relations across many sectors including climate, trade, defence, health, science and technology and education.
Sunder Katwala of the British Future think tank told The Guardian, it was “an historic moment that simply would not have been possible even a decade or two ago.”