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It's A Good Time To Be An Indian In Britain

24/05/2015 8:32 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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The Union, top, and England flags fly over a souvenir shop on Westminster Bridge in London, Thursday, April 2, 2015, with the Elizabeth Tower, containing the famous Big Ben in the background. Britain's political leaders are going head to head Thursday evening in a seven-way TV debate before a May 7 national election. At right is the top of a street light. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

We all crave recognition, whether it's for ourselves or for the nation to which we belong. With the UK general elections having recently concluded, we have something to be proud of: the record number of Indian-origin candidates elected to British Parliament.

While the 2010 elections saw seven Indians making it to the Commons, this year no fewer than 10 have managed to grab seats.

The victory was probably as much of a surprise to Prime Minister David Cameron as it was to everyone else - after all, the opinion polls showed that the Conservative Party would win by a margin from Labour. However, they won 331 out of the total 650 seats, giving them a slender majority.

The UK elections grabbed headlines the world over, and for me it was all a bit more special as I cast my vote too.

It feels great to see how Indian-origin people are climbing the top position in the British political hierarchy. Even better it is an Indian woman who is holding a top position in the Cabinet. Priti Patel, the Minister of Employment, has been heralded as Cameron's Indian diaspora stalwart. She won accolades for retaining her Witham seat with a 41.5 per cent majority, winning 27,123 seats.

Another name that made headlines was the Infosys cofounder Narayana Murthy's son-in-law Rishi Sunak who contested from the Tory safe seat of Richmond (Yorks) in the north of England and bagged 27,744 votes.

It has been well quoted by Lowell Milken, the co-founder of Knowledge Universe that "The power of recognition is one of the strongest forces for stimulating human and social action. Yes recognition is a powerful motivator to those who receive as well as those who observe it."

Indians are amongst the most prosperous and educated among the ethnic communities in the UK. When I talk about recognition it's not only about the people breaking the mould and achieving high positions, it's also about how our cultural heritage has acquired a great place in this society.

One of London's most famous Hindu temples, the Swaminarayan Temple, is an iconic landmark. David Cameron, in fact, has gone on record to say that it ranks up there with Big Ben and Stonehenge in terms of its cultural relevance and importance. It is also the first Hindu temple built in Europe. Isn't this a great example of the recognition our country has in Britain?

I have been a part of this nation for the past four years and I love how well Asians have integrated into the community at large and with each other. There isn't any partition of India and Pakistan. Almost all the communities love celebrating Diwali, Holi, Eid or Christmas together.

With Indians proving their mettle in Britain time and again, our fellow countrymen have brought much due recognition to our motherland India.

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