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On the Hindutva Appropriation of 'Pakistan-Origin' Rishi Sunak

P J James General Secretary CPI (ML) Red Star , Oct 2022


Rishi Sunak, new British PM who was born in Southampton, UK on 12 May 1980 to African-born parents is a British citizen by birth. While Saffron forces in India are laying claim on Rishi Sunak by tracing his Indian ancestry coupled with his Commons oath being on the basis of the Bhagavad Gita, available records do not substantiate this claim. For, the paternal grandparents of Rishi Sunak were born in Gujranwala, a city district of Punjab province, modern-day Pakistan from where they migrated to Nairobi in the 1930s.  On the other hand, his maternal grandparents were from Tanganyika, modern-day Tanzania.  Sunak's father was born in Nairobi in 1949 and mother in Tanzania. And the families of both emigrated to UK in the 1960s. Therefore, contrary to the Hindutva claims of Sunak as an Indian-origin, his ancestral roots fully belong to Africa and partially to modern-day Pakistan. 
Obviously, Hindutva appropriation of Sunak is in tune with the reactionary "cultural nationalism" of RSS according to which religion should be the criterion for nationality and citizenship and it is based on this obscurantist prognosis that goes against even the fundamental tenets bourgeois democracy and the ideals of 'enlightenment and modernity' that Saffron appropriation of Sunak comes to the fore. On the other, Sunak's appointment as British PM, in spite of the growing anti-immigrant neo-Nazi trends in UK, is a testimony to the fact that even now the highest office can be open to those of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. In this context, the direct African-origin Obama's ascendance to American presidency through general election was an appreciable instance compared to that of Sunak. Of course, he may be characterized as Britain's first non-white PM.
At the same time, the Sanghi claim on Sunak is perfectly in consonance with its despicable servility to international corporate capital. For, Sunak is outrightly pro-corporate, far-right neoliberal and a committed Brexiteer whose policies as Chancellor of the exchequer under Boris Johnson are also responsible for UK's unprecedented political-economic crisis today that produced 3 PMs within 2 months. Pro-Brexit policies and false promises including deep pro-corporate tax-cuts have already resulted in 4 percent drop in British productivity in 15 years leading to horrific levels of unemployment, soaring inflation, total disruption in National Health Service coupled with the latest failed mini budget of Liz Truss that extended 45 billion pound (₹ 4.21 lakh crore) tax exemption to the super-rich, thereby deeply rattling markets, for which Sunak as leader of the Conservative party is also accountable.
Revealingly, Sunak having Rs. 6850 crore worth assets is the wealthiest PM in  British history which also makes him adorable to Indian neo-fascists. That he is married to Akshata, daughter of Infosys founder Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy is an  added factor for this affinity. To be precise, there is nothing for Indians to feel proud of Sunak becoming British PM, rather he belongs to that category of corporate-neofascist global ruling classes,  the deadly enemies of working class and all oppressed, the world over.
P J James


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