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

“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.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Twitter/@Rishi Sunak

WASHINGTON: Indian Americans on Tuesday 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.

“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. Dr 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 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 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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