‘The whole community is delighted’: Chairman of Indian Community of Northern Ireland celebrates Sunak’s role as Prime Minister


The chairman of the Indian Community of Northern Ireland said the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister “proves that the UK is changing” for people from an ethnic minority background.

r Sunak becomes the first person of color to serve as British Prime Minister and the first person of Indian descent.

His parents, who are both pharmacists, are of Indian descent and emigrated from East Africa to the UK in the 1960s. Mr Sunak’s wife is the daughter of India’s billionaire leader of Infosys Narayana Murthy, Akshata Murty.

“I think the whole Indian community in Northern Ireland is delighted to see him as the new prime minister,” Dr Satyavir Singhal (61) told the Belfast Telegraph ahead of his organization’s Diwali celebrations on Monday night.

Diwali is the five-day Hindu celebration of light, from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika.

Hindus mark the festival by lighting diyas, small oil-filled candles.

Mr Sunak, a practicing Hindu, lit a diya outside Number 11 Downing Street when he was chancellor to mark the festival.

He was also sworn in as MP for Yorkshire, on the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, in Parliament.

“I would say it is good both for the Indian community in Northern Ireland and for the whole of the UK. As a democratic country, it proves again that the UK is changing of a country that ruled the whole world,” Dr Singhal said.

“Ethnic minorities are coming here.”

He added that Mr Sunak now had many ‘responsibilities’ as he headed to Number 10 to take the reins from Liz Truss who is leaving after announcing her intention to step down after just 45 days.

“He really has a lot to do,” said the community chairman, who is also a consultant anesthetist with the Belfast Trust.

The Indian Community of Northern Ireland is a charity based in Clifton Street, Belfast. They describe their mission as “to provide support to the Indian community, to encourage integration and to develop good relations with the wider communities of Northern Ireland”.

The center is also home to the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, the only Hindu temple in Northern Ireland located on the ground floor of the building.

Rishi Sunak is due to meet King Charles on Tuesday who will ask him to form a government on his behalf before heading to No 10 as prime minister.

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