RISHI SUNAK as UK PM: The Lessons it holds for INDIA

Britain or ‘The Great Britain’ as they call it, a country which ruled over India for over 200 years, appointed Rishi Sunak…a person of Indian origin as its Prime Minister. Although it seems like a great ‘poetic justice’, sadly that is not fully the case. All the Indians who are madly celebrating it as a victory should do so, no doubt, but at the same time, we should carefully look at the lessons this episode holds for INDIA. If you remember, in my last OPINION article, I criticised the British Monarchy system, but here I am able to find some lessons from the same country so I am putting them out in this article.

Also Read: My Blog on the Relevance of British Monarchy in 21st Monarchy

A Brief Look at the whole Episode

So, everything started when during COVID, England was suffering from high inflation and fuel prices and the public was fed up with continuous lockdowns. In addition to this, videos emerged where it was found that PM Johnson was himself enjoying lavish parties at his residence. The public was extremely enraged and demands for Johnson’s resignation started getting louder. Slowly, several ministers from Johnson’s cabinet including Rishi Sunak resigned citing the ‘falling credibility’ of the government. Ultimately, Johnson had to bow down to the pressure and resign.

Now, among all the candidates that came up for the PM candidacy, Sunak had the highest support among the MPs of the Conservative Party. But when the votes of all the registered 70,000 members of the Conservative Party were sought, Sunak was left too far behind. In simple words, although the MPs knew who is a better candidate, the members being ‘conservative’ in the true sense refused to put their trust in an Indian origin, a follower of Hinduism and a person of colour, so they went ahead with Liz Truss.

UK PM Johnson to step down | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand

Boris Johnson was forced to resign as the PM despite huge mandate (Photo credit: Thai PBS World)

liz truss resignation: Sleepless nights, 4 am texts & hurried discussions: What transpired hours before UK PM Liz Truss's resignation - The Economic Times

Liz Truss announcing her resignation as PM within 45 days (Photo credit: The Economic Times)

But, the days ahead were not going to be easy for Truss. The very points, she ran her agenda on (unfunded tax cuts) and the same points Sunak had criticised her on, turned out to be disastrous for the economy. What happens is that when you provide tax cuts (reduction in taxes), we only assume that the well-off sections will spread the benefits to all sections of the economy. But, this is a very ‘long-term’ process and there is no guarantee of it happening. Further damage was done by the resignations of Suella Braverman and Kwasi Kwarteng. Again the cycle followed, and she was forced to resign within 45 days of taking the oath.

Now, by this time, Conservative Party had gone behind way too much in all the polls, and if elections were held today, the Labour Party will be coming to power with a huge majority. So, the conservatives knew that if they had only one option left, they must try him out. Sunak had served as the Finance Minister in Johnson’s cabinet and his work during the COVID times was highly praised, so ultimately the Brits were able to break their jinx and Rishi Sunak was appointed as the Prime Minister of the UK.

Protesters demand Boris Johnson's resignation - CGTN

Public demanding Boris Johnson’s resignation (Photo credit: CGTN)

The REAL Democracy

First of all, we saw that there is not a ‘Hero Worship’ for the prime minister and what matters is the Mandate of the ‘people’. It was Bors Johnson who got such a huge mandate from the public, but once he wasn’t able to deliver on the promises, he was COMPELLED to take the blame and resign. The same thing happened with his successor (Liz Truss). And, the same challenges also await Sunak as he took the charge. Plus, in Britain, the PM has to stand and face questions from the MPs in the Parliament (so you can’t dodge press conferences that easily). Now, can we imagine such a thing in India, that a ‘great’ leader with 300+ seats is forced to resign by his own party because of rising inflation, unemployment and COVID mismanagement? Forget that, can we even imagine these issues being of prime importance in a country where the day starts and ends with religious hatred and people are too satisfied with one ‘temple’.

Britain's most ethnically diverse Cabinet ever - Diversity UK

Hugely Diverse British cabinet under Boris Johnson (Photo credit: Diversity UK)

Acceptability and Harmony

Although, Britain is a secular country, ‘Christianity’ is the religion of the state. Also, 85% of the population is anyways Christian. So, in a country, a ‘Hindu’ becoming the Prime Minister is a huge development. For a fact, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, is a Muslim of Pakistani origin. Even before this episode, Boris Johnson had one of the most diverse and multicultural cabinets in the history of Modern Britain, which eventually allowed someone like Rishi Sunak to prosper.

Also Read: My Blog on the Iranian Protests against the Hijab

Now, can we imagine any Muslim or Christian becoming the prime minister of our country in any near future…not at all? Forget about being a prime minister, we can actually count the number of Muslim MPs at our fingertips…is this our diversity and multiculturalism. Of all those in India who are celebrating Sunak’s appointment as UK PM, many of them were among the ones who completely opposed Sonia Gandhi’s appointment as the Indian PM. I don’t think we have forgotten the DRAMA that was done by the then-opposition (BJP). We have to understand that celebrating multiculturalism and diversity cannot be selective.

Rishi Sunak becomes British prime minister after meeting with King Charles  III

Rishi Sunak the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Photo credit: Yahoo News

What the Future holds for India, UK and Rishi Sunak

First of all, we should accept some hard facts. Let it sink in that Rishi Sunak is a Brit and not an Indian. Also, if someone thinks that he will be specifically lenient towards India just because of his origin, then he is both wrong and selfish. Sunak is a right-wing politician who has been against immigration and even supports England in an IND v ENG game (I hate the last fact). Also, however acceptable, we think Britain has become, the fact is around 40% of Brits are still proud of their colonial past. Yes…the very same era which massacred, looted and tortured innocents across the world. But, even after all this, Rishi Sunak sitting inside Downing Street is a very big development. In a way, it is also a tight slap on the face of all the RACIST minds of past and present which undermined Indians.

A special mention to Former UK PM Winston Churchill who believed that Indians are of low calibre and incapable to run India, as someone from the same Indian origin is sitting where he used to sit. Also, a special mention to PAKISTAN, Rishi’s father was born in the place which currently lies in Pakistan (it was undivided India then). But, Pakistan neither tried nor can ever stake even a 1% claim on Sunak, the fact is he is a HINDU. Pakistan kept on getting so immersed and obsessed with the religion thing that it kept on closing its doors of progressiveness. It again shows, why India should never go that way and how the episode has several lessons embedded for us. If someone as racist and conservative as Britain can do this, we can definitely do much better than them.


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