Rishi Sunak could be sixth Indian-origin head of state

 Currently, there are 313 politicians of Indian origin in 25 countries of the world

People of Indian descent have been in positions of leadership 31 times, as Prime Minister or President, across 10 different nations. There are still leaders of Indian descent in six of these nations. If Sunak is chosen as the Prime Minister, the UK will become the sixth country where a person of Indian descent will be holding the highest position.

Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin former UK Chancellor is battling against former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson as UK PM. His grandparents are from Punjab. They first migrated to seek a better life in East Africa and then shifted to Britain.

There have been 20 Indian-origin politicians in Britain so far, including Rishi Sunak. There are many of these who have held the responsibility of important ministries or departments in the government. The first name in this list of British politicians is Satyendra Prasad Sinha aka Satyendra Prasanna Sinha.

Satyendra Prasad Sinha

He was born on 24 March 1863 in Raipur under Birbhum, the princely state of Bengal, during British rule. He became the first governor of the state of Bihar and Orissa during the British Raj. He was the first Indian to hold the post of Advocate General in Bengal. He was also the first Indian to join the British Government.

In all, there are a total of 313 politicians of Indian origin in 25 countries of the world. A maximum of 41 politicians of Indian origin have lived in the United States of America. Canada is number two, where there have been 37 politicians of Indian origin. Thailand, Switzerland, Spain, Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands, Japan, Jamaica, and Ireland have had the least, one politician of Indian origin each.

31 Indians have been PM or President in 10 countries

There are six countries where Indian-origin politicians are still sitting at the top of power. Politicians of Indian origin have held the power of Mauritius country for maximum ten times since 1968.

Here are those who are currently holding the office:

António Costa, Prime Minister, Portugal

António Costa

António Luís Santos da Costa is a Portuguese lawyer and politician serving as the 119th and current prime minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015. Costa is half Portuguese and half Indian. His father and writer Orlando da Costa was born in Maputo, Mozambique, to a Goan family. In Goa, Costa is affectionately known as Babush, a word in Konkani meaning a young loved one.

Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President, Guyana

Mohamed Irfaan Ali

Mohamed Irfaan Ali is the first Muslim president of Guyana. He was sworn in as Guyana’s 10th president on August 2, 2020. Ali is a fourth-generation Indian, who studied in Delhi. His great grandparents left India to work on sugar plantations in then British Guiana. Some half of Guyana’s population is of Indian origin.

Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Mauritius

Pravind Jugnauth

Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is a Mauritian politician serving as the prime minister of Mauritius since January 2017. He was born to Anerood Jugnauth, a barrister, and Sarojini Ballah, a schoolteacher. Jugnauth’s ancestors are said to have migrated to the island-nation from Rasra in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh in India.

Prithvirajsing Roopun, President, Mauritius

Prithvirajsing Roopun

Prithvirajsing Roopun, also known as Pradeep Singh Roopun, is serving as the seventh president of Mauritius since 2019. Roopun was born in an Indian Hindu family with a deep belief in the ethos of Arya Samaj. Indian-origin people constitute nearly 70 percent of the population of Mauritius.

Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President, Suriname

Chandrikapersad Santokhi

Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi is the 9th president of Suriname, since 2020. He took the oath in Sanskrit while holding Vedas during the inauguration ceremony when the Indian-origin Santokhi repeated the Sanskrit verses chanted by the priest.

Kamala Harris, Vice President, United States

Kamala Harris

Kamala D. Harris is the Vice President of the United States of America. Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, California to parents who emigrated from India and Jamaica. Vice President Harris’s mother Shyamala Gopalan hails from Tamil Nadu, India.

Halimah Yacob, President, Singapore

Halimah Yacob

Halimah Yacob, serving as the eighth president of Singapore since 2017, is the first female president in Singapore’s history. Halimah was born to an Indian father and Malay mother.

Wavel Ramkalawan, President, Seychelles

Wavel Ramkalawan

Wavel Ramkalawan is serving as the president of Seychelles since October 2020. His grandfather was from Bihar, India.

In Mauritius, nine heads of state, including Jugnauth and Roopun, have been of Indian origin. Similarly, Suriname has seen five presidents from the community. Also, four heads of state in Guyana and three in Singapore were of Indian descent. Apart from these countries, Trinidad & Tobago, Portugal, Malaysia, Fiji, Ireland, and Seychelles too have chosen an Indian-origin head of state.

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: The Telegraph), (Image Courtesy: Wikimedia), (Image Courtesy: Portugal.gov), (Image Courtesy: DPI, Guyana), (Image Courtesy: GoM), (Image Courtesy: Facebook), (Image Courtesy: Wikipedia), (Image Courtesy: DW), (Image Courtesy: Tatler Asia) and (Image Courtesy: GoS)

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