Rishi Sunak is a British politician who has been the leader of the Conservative Party since October 2022. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020. He has been a Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.

He was appointed British Prime Minister on October 25, 2022, to become the first person of color, and third Prime Minister of the country this year following the collapse of the scandal-plagued government of Boris Johnson and the light-speed implosion of Liz Truss.

After Liz’s 44-day disastrous leadership as Prime Minister ended with her resignation following a failed budget and financial turmoil in Britain, Rishi staked claim as Prime Minister when he became the Conservatives’ new leader after triumphing over rival contender Penny Mordaunt, who failed to secure enough nominations from Tory MPs.

After securing leadership of the Conservative Party, he met King Charles III, who invited him to form government- a ceremonial rubber-stamping act known as ‘kissing hands’, referring to the requirement of an office holder to kiss the Monarch’s hand as a symbol of personal fealty and loyalty- the two virtues essential to serve in the king’s government.

So far so good!

Reverberations of Rishi Sunak taking over as Prime Minister of Britain were felt in a land miles away. In one of the many nations which the empire ‘over which the Sun was predicted would never set’ had once occupied, and from whom she wrested independence on August 15 1947. By a band of committed men under the leadership of a man who Winston Churchill once referred to as ‘half-naked fakir’.

India and Indians were elated as Rishi opened the door of No10, Downing Street with family on Diwali of 2022.

What was special about Rishi that had the Indians over the moon?

The most outstanding reason for Indian jubilation is Rishi’s ancestry, which had Indian origin. His father, Yashvir Sunak was a general practitioner with the National Health Service. His mother, Usha Sunak ran a chemist shop. Both of them migrated from East Africa to the UK in the 1960s.  It was but natural for Indians to gloat over Rishi’s Indian ancestry. Indians felt good about having a British Indian govern from London, which once had India under her thumb.

Another more compelling Indian connection of Rishi Sunak is that he is married to Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys Chief Narayana Murthy. The couple has two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.

Another factor that endeared the new British Prime Minister to the Indian leadership and vast majority of Hindus in India is the fact that he is a ‘practicing Hindu’. Something which he proudly and loudly wears on his sleeves. Numerous videos appeared on the social media showing a tilak- sporting Rishi rubbing shoulders with Hindu priests, and even hobnobbing with a cow with his wife clanging a hand-held bell in the near vicinity. This credential endeared him to the relatively new class of Hindu nationalists in far away India, who were jubilant to see one of their own ilk occupy 10, Downing Street. Rishi in fact took oath as MP from Yorkshire on the bhagavat Gita in Parliament- the first UK Parliamentarian to do so. What more could the Hindu fanatics back in his country of origin ask for?   There was a distinct clamor among India’s extreme-right nationalists to claim Rishi as their very own!

However, their glee was short-lived, when reports of Rishi’s Pakistani roots appeared in the media. It was reported that Rishi’s grandparents originated from British India and that their birthplace, Gujranwala is located in modern-day Pakistan’s Punjab Province, making the British leader a Pakistani as much as an Indian, leaving an irked Indian ultra-nationalists at  loss for words. Unable to control their ire and disappointment, they wondered angrily if other prominent Indian leaders who shared common ancestry with India and Pakistan, thanks to Partition would also be called Pakistanis.

The Indian fourth estate which has been taken captive by the present ruling Indian disposition was silenced from expressing views of more broadminded Indians that Rishi who shared ancestry between the two bitter neighbors of the Indian subcontinent had presented a golden opportunity for celebrating together, shoulder-to-shoulder, as brothers and sisters, which the populace of India and Pakistan truly are.

But alas! India of today is blind, deaf, and brain-dead to such lofty ideals. This is not to say that India’s neighbor and her citizens are angels.

What painfully unfolded through Rishi Sunak’s ascension as British head-of-state is a ‘Hindu India’ refusing to share the ancestry of the British Prime Minister with a ‘Muslim Pakistan’. And to celebrate together.  And most probably vice versa.

Pakistanis too decided to make the most of the developments. A man from Gujranwala was heard saying ‘Rishi Sunak’s grandparents went to Kenya straight from here. they didn’t even stop in India to drink water!’ in jest.

That a great opportunity for the entire subcontinent to celebrate together was wasted, was conveniently overlooked, and never discussed or allowed to be discussed by two nations of the Indian subcontinent which have lost themselves in the cesspool of religious corruption and communal hatred.

Rishi Sunak’s appointment as British Prime Minister that deepened the already deep and ugly communal schism that gnashed the subcontinent has, to a great extent brought to fruition the words of Winston Churchill that ‘power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low caliber 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.’

Realization of Churchill’s prophetic words about an undivided India are now being shared between India and Pakistan. The two brothers estranged and lost to the divisive propensity of religion usurped by self-serving politicians who care only about power, and to drink that poison by hook or by crook- the one exception to the saying that ‘the end justifies the means’. Both the end and the means being ill-meant, corrupted, destructive, and divisive.