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Diwali sparkles at 10, Downing Street with new residents

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 25 October 2022

Rishi Sunak interacts with community members (Photo by Rishi Sunak Website)

Diwali is a special festival for Indian and south Asian communities. The festival of lights became significantly special for the Indian diaspora across the globe with Rishi Sunak becoming the first person of Indian origin to be designated as the UK’s Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak’s family

Sunak was born in Southampton to parents of Punjabi-Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. He was educated at Winchester College, read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and gained an MBA from Stanford University in California as a Fulbright Scholar.

While studying at Stanford, he met his future wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of N R Narayana Murthy, the Indian billionaire businessman who founded Infosys. Sunak and Murty are among the richest people in Britain, with a combined fortune of £730 Million as of 2022.

Murthy’s family are self-made millionaires and she holds shares in her father’s technology firm Infosys; Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria and Jamie’s Italian; Wendy’s outlets in India; the nanny agency Koru Kids, and the gym operator Digme Fitness.

Mr Sunak’s father, Yashvir Sunak, was a National Health Service general practitioner and his mother, Usha Sunak, ran a chemist shop.

“I grew up watching my parents serve our local community with dedication, and I have been lucky to live, study and work internationally. I met my wife, Akshata, in California where we lived for several years before returning home. We have two daughters, who keep us busy and entertained,” Mr Sunak says on his website.

In his spare time, Mr Sunak says that he enjoys keeping fit, cricket, football and movies.

A proven track record in Politics

As Chancellor, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes.

Mr Sunak has previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond since 2015.

Rishi Sunak UK’s first PM of Indian Origin (Photo by Getty Images)

The road ahead for Prime Minister Sunak

As Prime Minister, he now faces the task of stabilising the U.K. politically and economically, which has been reeling from the disastrous economic policies of Truss that caused the pound to plummet in value against the dollar, gilts to fall, and the stock market to drop. He also will have to try to determine how to tame an inflation rate that is among one of the highest in Europe.

Andrew Palmer, Britain Editor for The Economist said “ Mr Sunak is a competent, orthodox, fiscally responsible figure. Markets are watching carefully for what Britain does next and Mr Sunak is reassuring. The immediate reaction to his elevation has been a sigh of relief with pound strengthening. That is good. However, it is difficult for anyone to reassure the market and deliver growth at this point as the two are working against each other.”

“I will work day in, day out to deliver for British people,” said Mr Sunak during his campaign.

He comes as a ray of hope with everyone relying on the skill and competency of the young time-proven entrepreneur and political figure, with the hope that he has the answers to all of Britain’s problems.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Hamilton.

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