The truth behind Britain under Hindu Rishi Raj

Hero-worshiping Indians, suffering from a talent famine at home, saw in Sunak's rise the growth of Hindu genetic dominance worldwide, echoed in Indians' managerial successes.
'Sunak's foolish admirers in India were worse than his wiser foes at home.' (Photo used for representational purpose| AP)
'Sunak's foolish admirers in India were worse than his wiser foes at home.' (Photo used for representational purpose| AP)

The past week has seen much celebration among right-wingers in India about the dawn of an era of global Hindu domination. Dreams of attaining vishwaguru status seem nearer than ever, and a religious renaissance is said to be around the corner.

Rishi Sunak's swift ascent to power as prime minister of Britain has been heralded as an example of the empire striking back to use a Star Wars analogy he would love, being a fan of the franchise.

The British media has fuelled this with reams devoted to the principles of dharma, artha, karma and moksha, which allow Hindus to be comfortable with both Lakshmi and Saraswati (wealth and wisdom).

Much ink has been spilled over Diwali celebrations in No 11 Downing Street when Sunak was chancellor of the exchequer. Many photographs have been taken to display his cow-worshipping side. And there has been feverish excitement back home about the sacred thread he wore when he took the lectern outside 10 Downing Street to address the media as prime minister.

The truth is much as Sunak is a devout Hindu, he is also a loyal Englishman, a hardcore Eurosceptic Conservative who has benefited from the old school tie, traversing the posh route of Winchester, Oxford, Goldman Sachs in the city, with a brief detour across the Atlantic for a bit of Californian class.

And therein lies the conundrum for his growing fandom in India. As The Spectator wrote of him recently, "His lack of interest in identity politics will doubtless put him at loggerheads with the race lobby – but this is a Prime Minister who will see no tension between his faith, his race and his country."

He said after becoming a minister in Theresa May's cabinet in 2017: "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 Hindu."

For Sunak, Britain is his Janmabhumi and Karmabhumi. A Davos man, as he has often been scoffingly called, Sunak has the right connections with a globally integrated cabal of corporates, financiers and high-net-worth individuals who finally influence the choice of heads of state in many countries.

Unsurprisingly, over 65 per cent of cabinet ministers chosen by Sunak have studied in private schools as expensive as Winchester.

When Liz Truss was ousted, Sunak didn't face any challenge from anyone within the party. He was the least unacceptable choice of MPs who could be and was wooed, but not of his party because the election process was short-circuited. After all, the Sunaks are worth over Rs 7,000 crore ($825 million).

Yet Britain at large was divided in the middle on the elevation of a person who was surrounded by controversies, from his wife's questionable tax management to his participation in former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's garden party in violation of the Covid protocol. But British lawmakers who preach to the world about civility and honesty in public life welcomed Sunak as the saviour of their sinking economy and disintegrating society.

But hero-worshiping Indians, suffering from a talent famine at home, saw in his rise the growth of Hindu genetic dominance worldwide, echoed in Indians' managerial successes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while congratulating Sunak, sent "special Diwali wishes to the 'living bridge' of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership".

Indians are expecting him to act like an Indian and work for India. Sunak's foolish admirers in India were worse than his wiser foes at home.

As prime minister of England, he is bound to protect the interests of his country of birth. That is his nationalism and kartavya. But Sunak's politics is driven purely by British interests. He has to win British votes and hearts and not those of India. If any evidence of this was needed, it was in the appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.

She is tough as nails on immigration, and though she had resigned on the grounds of breach of protocol in Liz Truss's administration, it seemed to have been quickly forgotten. Earlier this year, she supported a flight to take asylum seekers to Rwanda. Nor is she apologetic about her anti-India views. She recently told a local magazine: "I have concerns about having an open borders migration policy with India because I don't think that's what people voted for with Brexit." She has been insisting that all immigrants must secure British identity and forget about their origin. Blaming Indians for overstaying in the UK, Braverman said: "My parents came here through legal and controlled migration. They spoke the language, threw themselves into the community, they embraced British values. When they arrived, they signed up to be part of our shared project because the United Kingdom meant something distinct. Integration was part of the quid pro quo." For her, a British passport comes with strings attached. She has even blamed Indians for riots during the India-Pakistan cricket match last month.

It is due to politicians like Braverman that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and India has missed many deadlines because she has proposed stringent conditions. By choosing her, Sunak has sent a clear message to India that when it comes to giving Indians free access to Britain, Indians will have to wait many months to get a visa, even for business or study in England. In a retaliatory move, India has also been very restrictive in granting visas to British citizens. Some cultural events are in jeopardy as the English sponsors and organisers have not been able to get visas in time for the events.

Excessive adoration of successful people of Indian origins has brought nothing tangible to India. Even the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States was celebrated as the victory of yet another gal from the desi gene pool. She never claimed her Indian origins. Nor did she support India against Pakistan. Most of the other Indians leading multinational behemoths have contributed little to the Indian growth story. Instead, they have earned easy access to the Indian establishment, including the prime minister, ministers, chief ministers and top civil servants.

Sunak is definitely going to let down his fangirls and fanboys in India. With the UK General Election barely 20 months away, Sunak knows that the Hindu label isn't powerful enough to ensure his return to 10 Downing Street. For that Sunak has to appear more British than the British themselves.

Follow him on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

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The New Indian Express