INDIA. Delhi: Following Liz Truss’s premature resignation as British Prime Minister after merely 45 days in office, Rishi Sunak secured a significant Conservative win and made history as the first Hindu of Indian origin to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
In 2019, Sunak assumed office as a member of the parliament, pledging to serve the public while holding the Bhagavad Gita.
In his first address to the nation as Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak proudly displayed his Hindu heritage and paid homage to his religious roots by sporting a red-colored, Hindu protection thread called the Kalawa, on his right hand.
Sunak has proudly honoured his Hindu heritage on several occasions and for this, he has earned praise from several quarters, including the thriving Indian community in Britain and in India.
In the last few days, several social media netizens, especially on Twitter, have circulated images and video footage showing Rishi Sunak and his wife, seeking blessings of a Hindu monk before he was sworn in as Prime Minister.
In the video, Sunak can be seen kneeling before a saffron-clad sannyasi (or Hindu monk), while his wife was observed interacting with other devotees dressed in saffron.
A fact-checking conducted by the Transcontinental Times discovered a tweet posted by Sunak from August 18 this year.
The tweet showed a picture of him and his wife, garbed in a saffron shawl, sacredly bowing along with other devotees at the ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple to celebrate the auspicious Hindu festival of Lord Krishna’s birthday, Janmashtami.
He captioned the tweet: “Today, I visited the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple with my wife Akshata to celebrate Janmashtami, in advance of the popular Hindu festival celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday.”
Coinciding with Sunak’s visit to the temple, the Bhaktivedanta Manor’s official Facebook page also posted additional images of August 18, showing visuals of Sunak and his wife interacting with Temple devotees, walking through the grounds with other monks. There was even an image of Sunak bowing before a life-like figure of ISKCON founder, Swami Prabhupada.
The Facebook post was captioned as: “Sunak gave Bhaktivedanta Manor and ISKCON a heartfelt thank you and was very grateful for all the work, messages, and teachings we give to others.”
Another post was discovered on Instagram, identical to the video footage doing the rounds on social media lately.
The video was posted two days ago by the Instagram handle named ‘keshavaswami’, showing Sunak, with a saffron shawl around his neck, touching monk Keshava Swami’s feet and then introducing his wife to the monk as well.
The post read: “It was a pleasure to [Rishi Sunak] and Akshata Murthy a few weeks ago. ‘Rishi’ means a sage, a great thinker, derived from ‘drysa’ which means ‘spiritual vision’. We talked about the need for wisdom that breathes in a world that’s suffocating from materialism.”
It becomes evident that the video of Sunak and his wife seeking blessings before a Hindu monk at a temple is from nearly two months ago, on 18 August, and not after his appointment as British Prime Minister.