Rishi Sunak has become the first person of Indian descent to hold the position of prime minister of Britain. The influence of Indians has been resonating across the world even before today. At least 200 influential public positions have been held by leaders of Indian descent in 15 different nations. At least 60 of them are now serving in cabinets across several nations. Today, in this article, we will look at the top global leaders of Indian origin. We will also see how much India is left in them.
Rishi Sunak, the first person of Indian descent to hold the position of prime minister in the United Kingdom, was born on May 12, 1980, in Southampton, England. His mother Usha was a pharmacist, while his father Yashveer worked as a general practitioner for the NHS. His paternal grandparents were Punjabi. Sunak holds degrees from Stanford and Oxford universities.
In Richmond, Yorkshire, Rishi Sunak first won election as an MP in 2015, and in 2020, he was appointed a cabinet member in the UK.
In 2009, he wed Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys Company founder Narayana Murthy. Anushka and Krishna are two of Rishi and Akshata’s daughters.
Hinduism is practised by Rishi Sunak, who is a follower of Krishna. He took his oath of office by keeping his hand on Bhagavad Gita in the House of Commons of the British Parliament. The Bhagavad Gita, according to the Rishi, frequently delivers him from difficult circumstances and serves as a reminder to stick with his duties. Rishi lighted diyas for Diwali at his Downing Street house while working under Boris Johnson’s direction.
Kamala Harris sworn in as the nation’s 49th vice president on January 20, 2021. She is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law, the University of California, and Harvard University. Between 2010 to 2014, she held the position of attorney general of California twice. From 2017 to 2021, she served as a US senator.
The 57-year-old Harris comes from the Tamil Nadu region of India. Shyamala Gopalan, her mother, was born in Tamil Nadu. Shyamala was a breast cancer researcher from Tamil Nadu who eventually relocated to the US. Donald J. Harris, a Jamaican-American, was Kamala’s father. Donald and Shyamala were wed in 1963. Both Kamala Harris and her sister Maya were born in 1964 and 1966, respectively. Mother Shyamala raised Kamala and her sister Maya by herself after getting divorced from father Donald in 1970. In 2014, Kamala wed American attorney Doug Emhoff.
“My mother encouraged us to be proud of our culture and was very proud of her Indian background”, says Kamala Harris.
In her early years, Kamala Harris’ mother used to take her to the temple, where she would sing. Throughout their childhood, Kamala and her sister made numerous trips to Chennai to see their mother’s family.
Chandrikaprasad “Chan” Santokhi, a former police officer who entered politics, is now in office as president of Suriname. On February 3, 1959, Santokhi was born into an Indo-Sunninamese Hindu household. Santokhi’s grandfather was sent from Bihar to Suriname by the British as a labourer at the beginning of the 19th century.
Chan married Melissa Kavita Devi Sinachery, a lawyer from Surinam, in 2020. Two of Chan’s four children, who are from Senchera’s previous marriage, are his own.
He began working as an inspector with the Mauritius Police in 1982 when he was 23 years old. He assumed leadership of the National Criminal Investigation Department in 1989, and in 1991 he was appointed police commissioner. He began his political career in 2005 as the Minister of Justice and Police. The Progressive Reform Party of Suriname is now led by Santokhi.
Santokhi took office as Suriname’s ninth president on December 2, 2020. He was elected without opposition because he was the only contender in those elections.
Santokhi took the presidential oath while holding the Vedas and uttering Sanskrit verses. Santokhi and his wife Kavita Sinachery were married in 2020 according to Hindu customs.
Portugal’s current prime minister, Antonia Costa, was elected in the most recent elections, which were held in 2022. He is the third prime minister of Portugal. Antonio, who is half Portuguese and half Indian, is a member of the Portuguese Socialist Party.
In the Indian state of Goa, his father Orlando da Costa, a writer by profession, was born into an Indian family. Maria Antonia Pala, a woman of Portuguese ancestry, was Antonio’s mother.
Antonio formerly held the positions of Lisbon’s mayor as well as secretary of state for parliamentary affairs and minister of law.
In 1987, he wed Fernanda Tadeu, and the two eventually had two kids.
Costa is nicknamed as “Babush” to Indian followers. It denotes a handsome young man in Konkani. He is referred to as the “Gandhi of Lisbon” in Portugal.
Since 2017, Pravind Jugnauth has served as the country of Mauritius’ prime minister. Jagannath is a member of the Militant Socialist Movement of Mauritius, or MSM party, and was born on December 25, 1961, in Mauritius to a Hindu family of Indian descent.
In 1987, he began his political career, and in 1990, he joined the MSM party. In 2000, he was appointed Agriculture Minister, and in 2005, he was appointed Finance Minister. In addition to this, he has served as the opposition’s leader.
Pravind Jagannath visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi for three days in August of this year.
Prithviraj Singh Roopan
Prithviraj Singh Roopan is the President of Mauritius since 2019. He was born on May 24, 1959, in Mauritius to an Indian Arya Samaj Hindu family.
He graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a Masters in International Business Law (LLM).
In 1983, Rupan first entered politics. In 1995, he entered the race for the first time, and he won in 2000. He served as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius from 2010 to 2012.
From 2014 to 2017, he served as minister of social integration and economic empowerment, and from 2017 to 2019, he served as minister of arts and culture. He was elected as Mauritius’ seventh prime minister on December 2, 2019.
Sanyukta Roopan is the name of his wife, and the couple has four kids. In addition to being of Indian descent, Prithviraj Singh also practises religion. His devotion to Hinduism is profound. Bihar exhibits his religious side through his offerings of milk on the Shivling at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and his visit to the Gaya Mahobadhi Buddhist Temple.
Mohammad Irfan Ali
Guyana’s president at the moment is Mohamed Irfan Ali. He is Guyana’s first Muslim president. The 8 million people that live in Guyana are primarily of Indian heritage.
Ali was born to an Indo-Guinean Muslim household on April 25, 1980 in Guyana. Ali completed his doctorate in urban and regional planning.
In 2006, Ali entered politics when he was elected to the Guyana National Assembly. He served as the minister of housing, water, and tourism, industry, and commerce from 2009 until 2015. Ali, a member of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic of Guyana, was elected president of Guyana on August 2, 2020, becoming the country’s tenth leader.
In 2017, Ali married Arya Ali, and the couple has a son.
When the British empire was in power, Irfan Ali’s grandfather travelled from India to work at the Guyana sugarcane mill. Irfan graduated with an MA from Delhi’s Indraprastha University.