'Big day,' say Indian Americans as Rishi Sunak becomes British PM

Canadian parliamentarian Chandra Arya greets Mr. Sunak on being the U.K.’s first Hindu Prime Minister.

October 26, 2022 08:18 am | Updated 10:18 am IST - Washington

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak along with his wife Akshata Murthy offering prayer at Sri Krishna temple, Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford, England. File photo

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak along with his wife Akshata Murthy offering prayer at Sri Krishna temple, Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford, England. File photo | Photo Credit: ANI

Indian Americans on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, celebrated the swearing-in of Indian origin Rishi Sunak as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister and said it was a big day for the overseas Indian community.

“This was a big Diwali present for the diaspora. Rishi was already on the Indiaspora government leaders list and we welcome him and wish him well as he takes office!” Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and Indiaspora founder M.R. Rangaswami said.

‘Special Diwali’

“It’s a special Diwali this year as the UK has its first Prime Minister of Indian origin. Congratulations,” Gita Gopinath, the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Sampat Shivangi, who chairs the Mississippi State Board of Mental Health, hailed Sunak for scripting history. “What a proud moment for an Indian to see Rishi occupying the highest seat of power… just 75 years ago, Britons were the rulers of colonial India,” he said.

Dr. Shivangi said he has known Rishi and his family personally for several years as their relatives hail from Athani in Karnataka. “Sudha Murthy’s (Sunak’s mother-in-law) father was my professor in my medical school,” he recalled.

“I look forward to a successful transformation of the UK economy in the coming days… I wish Sunak that he brings glory and tremendous credibility to his nation, the Indian diaspora and to his ancestral land,” he said.

Al Mason, a real estate businessman from New York lauded Mr. Sunak for being the first British Prime Minister of South Asian heritage, the first Hindu and the youngest to hold the post.

Canadian parliamentarian Chandra Arya in a statement congratulated Mr. Sunak on being the UK’s first Hindu Prime Minister. “May his achievement motivate a new generation of Canadians to get more actively involved in public service,” he said.

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