UNITED KINGDOM: Following Indian-origin ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Conservative win on October 24 on the auspicious Hindu festival of Diwali after his predecessor Liz Truss resigned after merely 45 days in office. Sunak’s win drew several mixed reactions from people, especially Indians all over the globe.
Billionaire business tycoon Anand Mahindra, the current chairman of the Mahindra group, has been among many prominent figures who have positively reacted to Sunak’s win as the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.
The 67-year-old business leader, known for his witty remarks as an active social media netizen, decided to celebrate Sunak’s rise by ridiculing an old comment from Britain’s controversial prime minister, Winston Churchill.
Mahindra drew attention to Churchill’s offensive and racist comment about the calibre of Indians, which he further pointed out, has proved to be wrong.
Citing Churchill, Mahindra took to Twitter and wrote, “In 1947 on the cusp of Indian Independence, Winston Churchill supposedly said ‘…all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw.’ Today, during the 75th year of our Independence, we’re poised to see a man of Indian origin anointed as PM of the UK. Life is beautiful…”
Winston Churchill, the UK’s former prime minister, has his name forever etched in the annals of British history, for his great achievements in pulling out his country during a crisis at the time of World War II and also for his eccentricities of character and public remarks which were often taken negatively.
Churchill never bowed down from a golden opportunity to thrash India or its sentiments in public.
Here is an excerpt from a speech he made in the grand halls of the British parliament: “If Independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.”
Big words of calibre and capacity for a world leader who stole precious food grains from starving and dying Indians during the Bengal Famine of 1943, only to send them to healthy British soldiers during the World War.
Churchill’s vision of a future India, reeling under political stress with a struggling economy, has backfired, to say the least, and boomeranged to the British Isles, as Sunak becomes Britain’s first Asian prime minister.
Social media users, who have highly praised Mahindra’s wit at a crucial time such as this, point to this historical event as the former colonial country’s punitive “karma”.
Laughably, many wished the UK a “Happy Diwali” following the political development, urging the British people to get their affairs in order under the authority and leadership of a representative, whose origins date back to one of Britain’s most prized cash colony, India.
Despite the thunderous approval and ecstatic uproar from Indians everywhere over this supposed case of reverse colonization, many have been reminded on social media that Sunak, is not “one of us”.
The billionaire son-in-law of IT tech founder Narayana Murthy, and with a hefty inheritance wealth surpassing that of King Charles III, Sunak is far from the prototype of the working-class populace.
Sunak’s Punjabi parents migrated to East Africa in the 1960s and he was born and raised in the UK. Many believe he is simply another brown face who grew up white.
The 42-year-old will succeed incumbent PM Liz Truss following her premature resignation on Thursday amid growing economic uncertainty, aggravated by Truss’s problematic economic program.
Truss was appointed as the leader of the Conservative party and Britain’s premier in the first week of September, and eventually became the shortest-serving prime minister in British history after merely 45 days in office.