More than 1.3 billion Indians were happy when we saw Rishi Sunak get an official entry at 10 Downing Street. Indians celebrated like no one else. An Indian-origin ruling a country which dominated us for more than 200 years. There is nothing not to celebrate here. The symbolism is too big to ignore, even though we knew that Sunak was British at the end of the day. Well, Rishi has confirmed it with his very first move as being anti-India.
Suella Braverman back in power
New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hasreappointed Suella Braverman in the British Cabinet. This is the same woman who is responsible for India-UK FTA not being finalised on the eve of Deepawali. She is believed to be the lynchpin that put brakes on the procedure.
When quizzed about it, Suella Braverman had expressed fears that the FTA would lead to a large number of Indians flooding the banks of Thames. The Indian origin woman is of the opinion that an FTA with India would be akin to breaking the principles of Brexit.
One of the reasons for Brexit was that the Tories, the party in power, did not want too many foreigners in Britain. Now, according to Suella, FTA with India would end up snatching jobs from the hands of the British.
Suella Braverman had forgotten another motive of Brexit. Britain existing in the EU was compulsion on it to accept trade deals which would be good for Europe as a whole, but not the UK in particular. After exiting the EU, Britain became free to have a favourable trade deal with any country it wanted.
India was the best contender for it and so Boris Johson wanted it to be finalised by Deeapawali. PM Modi’s Cabinet was also enthusiastic about it as talks for a similar deal with the EU were not moving in the proper direction.
No wonder, India was not happy with her assessment of the situation. India expressed shock and disappointment at the disrespectful remarks. Proposed visit of PM Modi to the island nation was also cancelled. He was expected to reach London to put the final stamp on the deal. Only one person was responsible for all this harakiri and that was Suella.
As soon as she expressed her hate for Indians, Liz Truss’ Cabinet went into damage control mode. Within days of her remarks, Suella Braverman resigned from her post as Home Secretary. The official reason behind her resignation was that the Secretary had used her personal email to send an official document to her colleague. It was a breach of protocol involving national security. Resultantly, she quit, accepting her mistake.
However, the resignation of the Home Secretary over such an issue was not digested by anyone. People at the top echelons of British civil services accept that it was not a “resignation worthy” mistake. Simon McDonald, a former head of diplomatic services termed Suella’s email misadventure as “quite bland in security terms”. It belies common sense that a Home Secretary was fired over such a mistake. These types of firings are commonplace in corporate culture, not in governance.
Reports had emerged indicating that it was Liz Truss who asked her to quit and the email scandal was just a cover. But, there is another angle to the story. And that angle is connected to Sunak’s elevation from Chancellor of exchequer to British Prime Minister. Suella Braverman is said to have played a key role in Rishi’s elevation. Let me explain.
Suella Braverman is influential face in Conservative party
No matter how much Indians dislike like Suella, it is true that the woman is highly influential in conservative party. She has virtually spent her whole life trying to fit in the corridors of Tories. She is of Indian origin and a non-white individual. Ideally, it should have been a cake walk for her to make a name for herself in the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrats party. But Suella went conservative way.
Conservative party is always in hunt for shedding its ultra-pro-white race image. People like Suella, Rishi and other non-Brits would always come in handy. These people are elites, which fits in the traditional image of Conservative party. Additionally, them being from non-white background snatches opposition’s talking point of siding with minorities.
Suella Braverman has been too much adaptive to British conservative values. In fact, she has taken some of these positions to the very next level. On Rights vs Responsibility, Suella preaches to strike a balance between rights and responsibility. In her estimation, there are too many rights without any commensurate responsibility to Brits.
Similarly, she has also attacked transgender mayhem for the ills it is creating in children. She has been proactive in calling out anti-scientific nonsense that gender and sex are two different concepts.
Talking about her explicit political opinion, Suella Braverman has been a champion of Brexit. Her USP is being anti-immigration. She does not want the people of India, her forefathers’ country, to turn to Britain. Preserving British sovereignty and crown is her single most goal. Suella feels proud of the British Empire, which looted $45 trillion from India.
Rishi and Suella teamed up to take down Truss
Riding on all this, Suella Braverman is a force to reckon with in conservative party of the UK. The Indian-origin woman is believed to be someone who can take down the Prime Minister. It is being alleged that she chalked out a deal with Rishi. According to the deal, Suella would make situations worse for Liz Truss, which would eventually end up in Liz’s resignation. It would make it easier for Rishi to gain power. In the exchange, Rishi would reinstate her in the Cabinet.
People from all across the British political spectrum seem to be in agreement with it. Keir Starmer, Labour Leader, accused Rishi of doing a “grubby deal” with Suella. Starmer said, “We can all see what happened here. He’s so weak; he’s done a grubby deal trading national security because he was scared to lose another leadership election. There’s a new Tory at the top but as always with them party first, country second.”
“He’s so weak, he’s done a grubby deal trading National Security because he was scared to lose another leadership election”
Now, voices of investigation into Suella’s reinstatement are emerging from all quarters. Apart from opposition Labour and Liberal Democrats, even her own party members are asking for it. Tories asking for inquiry include Caroline Nukes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee and Jake Berry, former party chairman.
Not a pro-India move for sure
Whatever be the result of the investigation, one thing is clear that a trade deal with India is not the first priority of the Indian-origin British PM named Rishi Sunak. Even if we assume that Suella Braverman deliberately tanked Liz Truss’ Cabinet, her anti-immigration record is not a healthy sign for India. The apprehensions are larger in political circles.
Opposition has started to bifurcate Asians in two factions named elite and non-elite. Rishi Sunak’s old video clip stating that he did not have working class friends is adding fuel to the fire. Nadia Edith Whittome, a young British MP, refused to call Sunak’s Prime Ministership a win for Asian representation. She opined that Rishi has wealth and is politically connected due to which he does not represent the poor state in which an average Asian lives in Britain.
Elite vs. non-elite foreign origin citizens are the new lens being developed by people all across the world. We Indians also need to start differentiating between both groups. Rishi may prove us wrong in the final analysis. Eventually he may convince his party to get on with the FTA, but having backups won’t harm. Precaution is always better than cure.
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