Rishi Sunak scripted history by becoming Britain’s first prime minister of Indian descent, and with that made it to the front pages of most Indian newspapers. He, alongside the Indian cricket team’s win over arch-rivals Pakistan in a T20 World Cup match, added to the Diwali celebrations back in India.
Indians had been waiting for this news for a while. Sunak was, in fact, set to take the top job after his rivals Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt withdrew from the race to replace Liz Truss as leader of the Conservative Party. Truss quit and Sunak formally took over.
While the celebrations are still on, Indians are a curious bunch and want to know everything about Sunak. Many Indians took to Google to find out more about UK’s new prime minister. Some of their top queries were: “Does Rishi Sunak eat beef?” “What is Rishi Sunak caste name?”
Soon after the announcement, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted congratulating Sunak and hoping to turn UK-India’s “historic ties into a modern partnership.”
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‘What’s Rishi Sunak’s Caste?’
One would assume that’s the thought that would be on the minds of most Indians too. But turns out, a whole lot of them are rather interested to know more about his lineage than what he plans to do as prime minister. “What’s Rishi Sunak’s caste?” is another search term that was trending on Google.
The irony can’t be missed in the fact that India just celebrated 75 years of its independence from British colonial rule. And as far as history goes, while the caste system has its roots in ancient India, it can’t be ignored that the British colonisers constructed Indian social identities for their system of governance in the 19th century, granting administrative jobs and senior appointments to those belonging to certain castes and communities.
“This was done to serve the British Indian government’s own interests – primarily to create a single society with a common law that could be easily governed…Religion-based electorates in British India and caste-based reservations in independent India made amorphous categories concrete. There came to be real and material consequences of belonging to one category (like Jain or Scheduled Caste) instead of another,” wrote Sanjoy Chakravorty, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University, Philadelphia on BBC.
Google Trends revealed that Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar were the top searchers of the particular phrase: ऋषि सुनक cast
‘Rishi Sunak caste name’ was also one of the top searches on Google.
Also Read: Video Of Rishi Sunak Visiting UK ISKCON Centre Is Not Recent
Does Rishi Sunak Eat Beef?
That’s one of the first things some Indians wanted to know about the UK’s new Prime Minister.
Sunak’s old tweet from July 30 saying, “I would lead a government that champions our livestock farmers at home and abroad” became the point of contention for many back in the nation of 1.4 billion. “Is he real Hindu?” asked someone on Twitter suggesting that someone who worships cows, referring to an earlier photo of Sunak, cannot eat beef. Beef started trending on social media platforms soon after.
But does Sunak eat beef? In an interview with Business Standard, published in 2015, Sunak had said that he did not eat beef and added, “it has never been a problem”.
What’s Rishi Sunak Got To Do With Ashish Nehra?
One of the top related queries for Rishi Sunak is – the cricketer Ashish Nehra. What’s the connection, you ask? None. Except that some Indians found a resemblance between the UK Prime Minister and the Indian cricketer and started sharing photos of Nehra to congratulate him.
In fact, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin took to Twitter to issue a clarification about Virat Kohli and Ashish Nehra’s throwback photo.
What Is Rishi Sunak’s Connection To India?
Sunak is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy. The two had met at Stanford University in California where Sunak was doing his MBA.
Sunak and his wife are the 222nd richest people in Britain, with a combined fortune of £730m as of 2022.
Sunak hasn’t lived in India and doesn’t have any relatives here, unlike Kamala Harris, the US vice president who made headlines in India after her win in 2020.
Sunak’s maternal and paternal grandfathers had moved to East Africa from pre-partition India. His paternal grandfather was from Gujranwala, which is now in Pakistan. Sunak’s father, Yashvir and his mother, Usha, were born and brought up in present-day Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Sunak’s grandparents were among many who migrated to British East Africa after its formation in 1885.
His parents were brought up in East Africa. They migrated to the UK in the 1960s as the resentment for the Asian community grew.