Three Indian origin MPs in the Cabinet
It was not long ago when we were complaining about the lack of Indian origin in the political arena. The success in business, medicine and engineering were the stereotypical paths to success. Yet the latest Cabinet reshuffle in Boris Johnson’s Government has added a twist to the stereotype.
Three Hindus have made on to the top table of government and furthermore they are in top ranking jobs within the Cabinet. Rishi Sunak has been promoted to the Chancellor Exchequer role, the most powerful job in government after the PM. Priti Patel keeps her job at the Home Office and Alok Sharma moves from International Development to Secretary of State for Business.
This is an amazing turn around for ethnic minorities and opportunities within the higher echelons of political life. Let us hope this will encourage other young people to follow the political and public service path as a career.
Mr Sunak was born in Hampshire and studied at Winchester College and Lincoln College, Oxford and then did an MBA at Stanford Business School. He was a strong supporter of Brexit and aligning with Boris Johnson’s vision which probably helped him to get the Treasury role previously after the 2019 General Elections. His father was a GP and his mother ran a local pharmacy. He was inspired by the hard work and community ethos of his parents to get involved in politics. Mr Sunak’s career began in business and he founded an investment firm. His early fame came when he married Ashata Murthy in 2009, the daughter of N R Narayan Murthy, the billionaire founder of Infosys, one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Priti Patel who already is making her mark at the Home Office is the MP for Whitham. She too was a Eurosceptic and a strong supporter of Boris Johnson during the Brexit campaign. Born in London, her parents were East African Asians who left Uganda a few years before the Idi Amin threw out Asians. She studied Economics at Keele University and Government & Politics at the University of Essex. Ms Patel was inspired by Margaret Thatcher and unsurprisingly many of her views and policies mirror with the Iron Lady.
Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, who was previously the Minister for Housing is the new Minister for Employment and then International Development. Having graduated in physics and electronics and then qualifying as an accountant, Mr Sharma has close ties with many of the Government departments including the Treasury, Science & Technology Committee and was also Conservative Vice-Chair or BME Communities.
It will be interesting to see which one of these one day aims for the ultimate job of PM.