Born in 1980 in Southampton with an MBA from Stanford University, Sunak is a British politician of Indian descent who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022, while previously he was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020, and is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015. He has as his wife, Akshata Murty who is the daughter of N. R. Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys.
Quite capable, Sunak has been proving his capabilities time and again and that’s what he did during the election in the UK, however, what was criticized back home as well as globally to some extent—and very well deserved to be pointed out—was the use of religion in some way by Sunak to garner the support of the Indian descent British citizens in the UK. The same brought to life the scenes which are on and off seen in India, especially ahead of elections. But Sunak, somewhere, forgot that he was contesting elections in the UK and not in some country in the third world where the elections are fought and won by using nothing, but religion even though a healthy and functional democracy does not allow using religion for electoral gains, come what may. Maybe he was testing the waters, who knows?
In the same light, the Supreme Court just a day ago sought a reply from the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition seeking action against parties that make use of religion for politics or use religious symbols. The line is clear cut that there is no space for the use of religion in the festival of democracy which is the election, or in the overall functioning of the system anywhere in the world, rather the victory or loss needs to be determined by the ability of the candidates, the delivery, effective governance, and not the religion in any manner: true for India as well as the UK.
Coming back to Sunak’s role in the election in the UK, he did quite well and he has, ahead of him, a great future given his achievements in just a short period. His feat is enough to make the people of this country proud and the same has once again reiterated that there are Indians across the globe leading the world at the back or the front. Sunak is an example of an Indian leading the world from the front; no doubt he had to face defeat. The major takeaway, however, is: that religion needs to be kept at arm’s length when it comes to democracy, be it in India, or be it the UK, the rule is Universal.