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Sunak’s Challenge


It did not take much time for the actual abilities of Liz Truss to become evident once she took over as Prime Minister of Britain. Why did delegates of the Conservative Party elect her over Rishi Sunak in the first place? The Rishi Sunak who is now being lauded as the saviour of the mess that Britain’s economy has become. A lesson has been learned that the nation has to pay if a person is excluded merely because of the colour of his or her skin. All democracies must realise that one’s caste, community, race or gender should not come in the way of ability being recognised and given its due place in society.

Exactly along those lines, it is pointless for Indians to claim Sunak as one of their own. His connect with India is more through marriage rather than his ancestry. He is born and raised a Britisher. His being a Hindu could provide him an insight into the Indian thought process but he is more likely to use that for his country’s benefit, if required. The wealthy Indian family he married into was more of a liability not so long ago owing to tax issues.

He has many challenges before him – merely ascending to the Premiership is a small achievement in comparison. If he manages the ongoing economic crisis against all odds, he will make the required impact. But the challenge he faces stems from a succession of bad decisions take by his predecessors, beginning with Brexit. The Ukraine crisis has had a huge negative impact on the economies of European nations and for many people it has become a matter of sheer survival. Merely tweaking fiscal policy will not be enough, if even it is in the right direction. The goodwill he may possibly command with India could be leveraged to move forward with the FTA that is on the anvil but has been delayed because of past attitudes. It would certainly give a major boost to the British economy.

In the long run, however, the Conservative Party will have to win the next General Election, whenever it is held. The opposition wants it sooner than later, as it feels the present is the most opportune time to unseat a discredited government. So, any celebrations right now would be greatly premature.