In India, national pride and questions about Rishi Sunak, the “child of the country”

Sagar Kambli, a teacher at the Gurukul art school, paints to congratulate Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in Bombay, India, October 25, 2022.

“An Indian Son Rises Above the Empire”, displayed the banner of New Delhi Television, Monday, October 24 at the end of the afternoon. It was then 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom and the appointment of Rishi Sunak, a son of immigrants of Indian origin, as Prime Minister, became a reality. The face of the leader of the Conservative Party was then displayed on the “one” of all the news sites. Social networks were inundated with messages of congratulations, while, coincidentally, the Indians celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights which marks the victory of course evil.

After two centuries of colonial oppression, many saw it as the symbol of a fair return to history. “Today, as India celebrates Diwali in its 75e year as an independent nation, the United Kingdom has a Prime Minister of Indian origin. History comes full circle »judged Raghav Chadha, member of the upper house of Parliament, reflecting the opinion of many of his compatriots.

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Officially appointed Prime Minister Tuesday, October 25 by Charles III, Rishi Sunak is the first descendant of Indians and the first Hindu to enter 10 Downing Street. In Parliament, he had taken the oath on the Bhagavad-Gita, one of the fundamental texts of Hinduism. “I am deeply British, it is my home and my country, but my cultural heritage is Indian”, Sunak had said in the past. This 42-year-old Briton, born in Southampton, England, has his Indian roots from his grandparents. Originally from Punjab, they migrated to East Africa in the late 1930s, before the partition of the subcontinent between India and Pakistan in 1947. Mr. Sunak’s parents later settled in the United Kingdom. United in the 1960s.

A “product of the English elite”

No matter if the ancestral village of Mr Sunak’s grandparents, Gujranwala, is today in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Indians jumped at the chance to proudly say that Rishi Sunak was one of them , while in Islamabad, the press evoked the rise of a “Hindu of Pakistani origin”.

India never fails to celebrate the overseas successes of those it considers to be “homegrown”. The election of the vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, whose mother was from Tamil Nadu (southeast), had made the nation of 1.3 billion people proud. The South Asian giant also prides itself on being a pool of big bosses who reign over Silicon Valley today: from Satya Nadella (Microsoft) to Parag Agarwal (Twitter) via Sundar Pichai (Alphabet).

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