As Rishi Sunak, the Indian origin British has been appointed as the finance minister of United Kingdom, the second most powerful chair in the country, this is the time to look at the rise of Indian origin politicians in countries around the globe, especially in democratic nations.
The Indian politicians rose on the prominent leadership positions in many countries and leading their countries in the chaotic global order of the last decade. Indians are among the most prominent ethnic minority in the politics of Canada and the incumbent Canadian cabinet has four people- Anita Anand, Navdeep Bains, Bardish Chagger and Harjit Sajjan- of Indian origin. Among them, Harjit Sajjan, who leads the Canadian Minister of National Defense, is most prominent.
In Ireland, Leo Varadkar, whose father was born in Mumbai and has a very visible surname, was Taoiseach (prime minister) of the country till very recently. As Prime Minister of Ireland, Varadkar also went to his native village in Maharashtra.
In Malaysia, V T Sambanthan, who is credited with consolidating Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), which is founding members of the coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition of the country for almost all of its democratic existence, is among the founding fathers of the nation. Despite Mahathir’s repeated anti-India rhetoric, the Malaysian Indian lobby has stood firm behind India, and there are many Malaysian Indian is the cabinet including Deputy Minister for Rural Development.
In New Zealand, Anand Satyanand- 19th Governor-General of New Zealand- who has been former judge and ombudsman is among most prominent Indian origin politician. He was the country’s first governor-general of Asian descent.
In Portugal, the incumbent Prime Minister of the country, Antonio Costa, was born to Goan Portuguese family.
In Singapore, the third and sixth President of Singapore, C V Devan Nair (1981 to 1985) and S.R. Nathan (1999 to 2011) were among the most prominent faces of country’s politics. In the current generation, there are many faces K. Shanmugan, S. Iswaran, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Indrane Rajah of Indian origin.
In Boris Johnson’s cabinet, some of the most important portfolios including Finance ministry, Home ministry, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are held British Indians, Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel, and Alok Sharma respectively.
And the last, where the influence of people of Indian origin matters most for India in the United States. The people of Indian origin have witnessed an unprecedented rise in the United States in the last decade. The American Indians are the richest ethnic groups after Jews and are among the most educated too. The influence of Indians in the American economy is unparalleled to any ethnic minority, with Indians leading some of the most important technology companies of the United States, including the flagship ones- Google and Microsoft.
The most important politicians of Indian origin have been Nikki Haley, Former Governor of South Carolina and Piyush Jindal, 55th Governor of Louisiana. In the United States, the governor has the executive powers and is most powerful person in the respective state, just like Chief Minister of any Indian state. Therefore, these two politicians have led their respective states. Haley was US ambassador to the United Nations too.
The people of Indian origin register exponential rise in any country with democratic polity like United States, United Kingdom, or Canada. But, in Middle Easter Gulf countries, Indians could not rise in politics despite their dominance in business, like in UAE, as they are allowed to participate in the politics of those countries, due to undemocratic nature of their polity. However, if there is a democracy, Indians are bound to thrive in the politics and leadership role in any country.