Rise of Rishi Sunak and the hypocrisy of the Hindutva politics in India

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has become the Prime Minister of UK and India’s ‘bhaktmandali’ is celebrating. Even the ‘liberals’ are celebrating it. Now for the record, people of Indian origins have become leaders in various countries such as Mauritius, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad etc and we never felt ‘proud of them’. Most of these Indians were basically related to the families of ‘indentured labours’ or what was termed as slave trade in a ‘modified’ form but that was never celebrated though these days they have been feeling proud of their Indian origin and rightly so because the colonisation uprooted them from their roots and identities. Their love for India needs to be understood in the sense of their attempt to trace their roots which the brutalities of colonisation inflicted them.

Ms Kamala Harris became vice president of USA though that position is not powerful enough but Indians ‘celebrated’. Now Rishi Sunak whose family had migrated from Gujranwala, now part of Pakistan to Kenya in 1937. Rishi Sunak’s father Yashveer was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1949 who migrated to England in 1966. He married Usha in 1977 whose parents had migrated from Tanzania. Rishi Sunak was born in 1980 in Southampton. He married to the daughter of Mr Narayanmurthy, Founder Chairman, Infosys. These people might feel proud of their Hindu origin but they went to western world to ‘earn’ money and luxuries of life. They were never really deprived of their identities in fact these people enjoy their Hinduness much more than in India. They represent those Hindus who enjoy everything in the West and yet dont want to give the same rights to the other minorities in India. It is these luxurious castes that want to control our politics and social narrative in India.

I dont know what is there to rejoice. Sunak is a born British and modern democracies are ‘citizenship based’ where all citizens of a nation have a right to participate in the social political life of a country. Ironically, all those who rejoice in Sunak or Kamala Harris have campaigned against Mrs Sonia Gandhi. One of the most disgusting, distasteful and vicious social media campaigns was done against Mrs Sonia Gandhi by the Sangh Parivar and its organised trolls. She was called names, her nationality was questioned. Much before she could have been elected as leader of UPA, Sonia Gandhi faced the worst form of slanderous campaign by the top leaders of BJP including Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati. Swaraj went on to say that if Sonia Gandhi became prime minister of India then she would shave her head and sleep on the floor like the ‘widows’. Sushma has been regarded as the face of BJP but the fact is that she was regressive and RSS and BJP want such women leaders who remain committed to the regressive thoughts and justify oppression of the women.

It is not the issue of Sonia Gandhi alone. Muslims in India have been living for more than five hundred years. A majority of Indian Muslims have Indian origins and yet their loyalty is always in question. India’s union cabinet does not have a representation from 14% minority of the country and top leadership of the ruling party continue to degrade and vilify the Muslims of the country. The representation of Muslims in India’s parliament and state assemblies has continuously been reduced but that is of no concern for the party which reaped dividends because of divisions. Sunak’s father migrated from Kenya in 1966 and Sunak could become leader of the party but India’s Muslims with several generations can not be called Indians. Indians migrating to the west, acquiring Green Cards in 10-20 years want to dominate the politics of those countries but the same people feel offended by the rise of Muslims in Politics or their representation in our power structure.

To deny the representation of minorities and marginalised fake slogans of nationalism and national identities are created so that the ‘real’ minority continue to rule us. Today, a number of people are suggesting that India is politically more diverse and they give examples of Dr Man Mohan Singh and APJ Abdul Kalam. A Hindutva supporter ‘prime time’ expert says that when will Jammu and Kashmir have a Hindu chief minister ?

Let us first debunk these Hindutva myths of India’s diversity. Yes, India was perhaps the best model of diversity but that happened under the leadership of Jawahar Lal Nehru, undoubtedly the tallest among all as builders of modern India. Indira Gandhi too promoted diversity. Dr Zakir Hussain and Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed became presidents of India. It was VP Singh who made Mufti Sayeed in the Union Home Ministry. BJP can claim that it made APJ Abdul Kalam as President. It also can claim Ramnath Kovind a Dalit as president of India but look the difference between him and Dr K R Narayayan who spoke of his mind and stood in the defence of constitution. Abdul Kalam was BJP choice for many reasons including his life as an ‘ideal Muslim’ as per RSS thinking who appreciated brahmanical system more than following Islam. Ramnath Kovind never had time to utter or follow the path shown by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. BJP can not allow assertive Ambedkarite or Muslims as leaders in independent India. BJP and Sangh Parivar have no respect for diversity of languages as well as ethnicities. Even today, the current regime continues to impose Hindi over non- Hindi speakers. India’s Muslims have never ever felt alienated as during the past 8 years. As far as Kashmir is concern, those Hindutva vadis who want a Hindu chief minister of the state forget that a Hindu ruler Hari Singh ruled over majority Muslim subject. The question is not who should become the leader as it is purely a democratic prerogative. BJP has done this at many places. It placed non-Adivasi leaders as the leaders in the Adivasi dominated Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh but native from Uttarakhand. Narendra Modi getting elected from Uttar Pradesh despite his nativity from Gujarat. So BJP’s vision of India is very much visible.

India needs to learn a lot from the Western democracies. The first is to respect individual freedom and right to choice. Even when Hindutva bhakt celebrated Rishi Sunak, he is loyal to the UK and will do everything to protect their interest. It means, we must learn to respect those who devoted their time and promoted our ideas. That way, Mother Teresa or Sonia Gandhi are far more Indian and to be proud of than Kamala Harris and Rishi Sunak. Why should I as an Indian be proud of them ? After all, what have they done for us and what will they do for us? There are hundreds others who left their native lands and became INdian citizens and devoted their lives for the welfare of the poorest of the poor and we all should be proud of their work and dedication even if they may not be Hindus. We need to introspect these factors so that powerful countries enjoy the power of migrants and diversity. Look at the diversity in the UK and USA and both the countries became richer with it. On the other side, we had a huge diversity and no other country can come near to India in terms of ethnic and linguistic diversity and this should be our strength but the Sangh Parivar and BJP wish to make us believe that our biggest obstacle to become the ‘vishwaguru’ is our diversity and hence they want to impose a ‘uniformity’ of the brahmanical style all over the country. UK, on the other hand, is learning and they know well how to rule the world. The colonial system will always remain as ‘white’ and ‘christian’. It will never become a system of immigrants or minorities despite Sunak being the prime minister. I can say with conviction that Sunak will be more right-wingers for their country than serving our interest. The world today is a mixture of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. Every country has diversity and people feel proud of it. Political representation is more symbolic but it definitely sends a powerful signal. Great Britain under Rishi Sunak will not become a Hindu Rashtra as India will not become another Rashtra under someone else. The foundations of these countries are based on their original habitants. Britain will remain a powerful Christian country and the institution of Monarchy will keep it alive even if democracy under pressure will pave the way for migrants to acquire the highest position.

Remember, Rishi Sunak represents the right wing Tory party of England and he will continue that party’s agenda. It changed nothing and a real change would have been possible if the UK had a party of immigrants and if that came to power on its own. The UK can not even allow Jeremy Corbyn to be the prime minister as he was too radical to lead a country which colonised a majority of the world. Frankly speaking a Jeremy Corbyn could have been much better for the global peace and social justice than an obscenely rich Rishi Sunak who will only strengthen the right wing agenda in his country and will only work against the interests of the immigrants and racial minorities. Sunak’s ascendency has an international dimension as well as UK’s internal politics and he will follow the colonial and white supermacist agenda more powerful than others to survive in local politics.

There is nothing for us to celebrate in it and the best that we can do is to learn to accept differences and accept the fact that in democracy any citizen irrespective of caste and religion has the right to occupy the highest position of the country. Sunak did not need to give a document of hundred years of life in the UK. Nobody sought a certificate of patriotism from him. A son of a father who entered the UK in the late sixties can become prime minister but people living for 500 years and several generations are not treated as equal citizens and patriots. India will grow if it respects its fellow citizens. India respected them but RSS did not. An India which look intolerant where minorities are considered an obstacles and unwanted is the making of RSS and if we really want to be called a democratic country and truly vishwaguru then learn to respect and accept the minorities as they are and you will not to make big boms to become vishwguru, you will be called vishwaguru because that is what India’s power was, a country with so much diversity and yet in complete harmony that our constitutional forefathers build and aspired.

In the coming days many others people of Indian origin will acquire important positions politically globally because inclusive politics is the power of democracy and if India want to be called a global power and truly democratic nation then it will have to do everything to bring its minorities and marginalised people into the decision making process and respect their contribution in nation building. Celebrating those who had nothing to do with India except some relations hundreds years back is nothing but pure hypocrisy of those who do not acknowledge the contributions of minorities in our nation building and do not want them to be included in our decision making process.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social activist

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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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