‘Lit Diwali diyas on Downing Street steps’: Rishi Sunak opens up about being UK’s first Hindu PM


Rishi Sunak made history last month when he was elected the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, being the first Indian and person of colour to ever hold the post. Not just this, but Sunak also became the first Hindu to ever be the UK Prime Minister.

During an interview with The Times newspaper, Rishi Sunak opened up being the first person of Indian origin to reside in 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

In a symbolic feat, the 42-year-old British politician won the fight for the UK PM post against rival candidate Penny Mordaunt on the Hindu festival of Diwali. Sunak also expressed joy over lighting the Diwali diyas on the steps of Downing Street this year.

The first formal event held to welcome Rishi Sunak as the new UK PM was a Diwali reception held in Downing Street. “It was obviously marvellous. It meant a lot of things to a lot of people,” said Sunak after his Diwali celebrations.

The former finance minister recounted how he would lay out Diwali decorations and diyas on the steps of 11 Downing Street when he was the right-hand man of former UK PM Boris Johnson.

As quoted by AFP, Rishi Sunak said, “As chancellor, I was able to light my Diwali Diyas (lamps) on the steps of Downing Street. It said something wonderful about our country that that was possible, but also that it wasn’t a big deal.”

Speaking about his experience as a Hindu in British politics, UK PM Rishi Sunak told The Times, “It was in a sense gosh, this is great, but also that’s just Britain.” He further added, “Hopefully it’s a source of collective pride across the country.”

Rishi Sunak was elected as the prime minister of Britain soon after former Prime Minister Liz Truss stepped down from the post owing to the major backlash against her for backtracking on her tax policies, which were the reason she was elected as the PM in the first place.

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