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Rishi Sunak becomes Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister

  • Published
    26th Oct, 2022
Context

Context:

Recently, Rishi Sunak was elected as Britain's first Indian-origin Prime Minister, scripting an impressive political comeback in British politics. This has shown the diversity in Modern day Britain and is expected to strengthen India-UK relations.

Background

  • The Indian Diaspora in the UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the country, with the 2011 census recording approximately 5 million people of Indian origin in the UK equating to almost 1.8% of Britain’s population.
  • Economy: Indians contribute 6% of the UK’s GDP.
  • Indian diaspora-owned companies with combined revenue of 36.84 billion pounds employ over 1, 74,000 peopleand pay over 1 billion pounds in Corporation Tax.
  • Politics: In 2019, the British House of Commons had 15 members of parliament of Indian origin.

About
  • Rishi Sunak, 42 was elected Conservative Party leader and the youngest British Prime Minister in 210 years.
  • He is also the First Non-white person elected as the Prime Minister of Britain of Hindu origin.
  • He was born on 12 May 1980 and is a British politician who has served as the Leader of the Conservative Party.
  • Sunak served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020.
  • He has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.

Significance of Indian Diaspora:

  • According to the Global Migration Report 2020, India continues to be the largest country of origin of international migrants with a 5 million-strong diaspora across the world.
  • It contributes by way of remittances, investment, lobbying for India, promoting Indian culture abroad, and building a good image of India through its intelligence and industry.
  • Many people of Indian origin hold top political positions in many countries, in the USA itself; they are now a significant part of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the government.
  • India's diaspora played an important role in the India-U.S. nuclear deal.
  • Indian diaspora is not just a part of India’s soft power, but a fully transferable political vote bank as well.

Cultural Influence:

  • There has been a gradual mainstreaming of Indian culture and absorption of Indian cuisine, cinema, languages, religion, philosophy, performing arts, etc.
  • The Nehru Centre is the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in the UK which was established in 1992.
  • 2017 was celebrated as the India-UK year of Culture to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.
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