Don’t expect Britain’s first Asian prime minister to radically reverse the UK’s direction, as he is a pillar of the establishment.
Rishi Sunak’s inauguration as Britain’s prime minister turned out to be a cathartic experience for Indian elites, spontaneous in its emotional release and spiritual cleansing. But Indians often tend to go overboard when it comes to the diaspora in the West. Prime minister Narendra Modi went as far as to describe Sunak as a bridge between India and the UK. Such lofty thoughts will inevitably lead to exaggerated notions. Although a Hindu, Sunak will remain a Briton who reads Bhagavad Gita, and a British politician who will only make his decisions on behalf of the British establishment. From an Indian perspective, a cautious attitude and a pragmatic approach are called for, as identity and ideology have become the primary drivers of British politics, and contradictions are bound to arise on that score.
Another unelected leader. Sunak belongs to the same breed of politician as Italy’s Mario Monti and Mario Draghi – your typical technocratic leader or central banker. He is prime minister by appointment: neither elected through a general election, nor even by his own party or parliament. The Conservative Party avoided a members’ vote by setting an artificially high first-round voting threshold. In political terms, as well as by the norms of a democratic transition, his appointment amounted to the disenfranchisement of Conservative voters through an electoral stitch-up that ensured Sunak somehow reached Downing Street. Of course, it worked, as on earlier occasions too in Britain’s modern history. But the despairing majority of British people are now demanding a proper vote on who runs the country.
MK Bhadrakumar Archive
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