Rishi Sunak Will Be The First Person Of Color To Be Prime Minister Of The UK
Rishi Sunak will be the first person of color to be prime minister of the UK and the first Hindu. This is a big step in Britain's development as a multicultural and multireligious society.
Even though there has been a clear rise in the number of black and brown politicians in key cabinet positions like chancellor, home secretary, and foreign secretary, the UK has never had a black or brown prime minister.
According to Sunder Katwala of the British Future think tank, which focuses on identity and race:
It was a historic moment that simply would not have been possible even a decade or two ago. It shows that public service in the highest office in Britain can be open to those of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. This will be a source of pride to many British Asians - including many who do not share Rishi Sunak’s Conservative politics.
- Sunder Katwala of the British Future think tank
Sunak is a practicing Hindu, but he doesn't talk much about his faith in public. He was named the next leader of the UK on Diwali, the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain holiday of lights that is celebrated by millions of people around the world. It marks the start of a new year and the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/rishi-sunak-will-be-the-first-person-of-color-to-be-prime-minister-of-the-uk/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2022-10-25T00:52:41.005Z
When Sunak was chancellor two years ago, he lit candles on the doorstep of No. 11 Downing Street to celebrate Diwali. This was done at a time when COVID restrictions were still in place.
According to Sunak:
It was one of my proudest moments that I was able to do that on the steps of Downing Street. It was one of my proudest moments of the job that I had for the last two years.
- Rishi Sunak
His faith gives him strength, it gives him purpose. It’s part of who he is, he said.
After the general election in 2017, he took his parliamentary oath on the Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita. Grant Shapps, who was just named home secretary last week, played down the fact that Sunak is the first person of color to be prime minister of the UK.
In some ways, his appointment would be a big deal for the country, but in other ways, it would be normal and not get much attention. This is one of the best things about the UK: that we can all get along. I could see that being the only and most important news in other countries. It's an afterthought here, which is great.
- Grant Shapps
But Tariq Modood, professor of sociology, politics and public policy at the University of Bristol, said:
Whatever his political views, Sunak becoming prime minister is a historic moment for multiculturalism and racial equality. It has happened much sooner than anyone would have predicted even a few years ago – and nor would anyone have predicted that the first ethnic minority prime minister would be a Tory.
- Tariq Modood, professor of sociology, politics and public policy at the University of Bristol
Neema Begum, assistant professor in British politics at the University of Nottingham, said Sunak’s appointment “shows how far ethnic minority representation has come in politics”.
Sunak might also be the UK's first prime minister who doesn't drink since David Lloyd George. His favorite drink is Coca-Cola. There is no clear rule in Hinduism that says you can't drink alcohol, but many Hindus choose not to.