The 43-year-old leader was born in the UK to a Hindu Punjabi family who had migrated from East Africa, with his grandparents’ roots tracing back to Ludhiana and pre-Partition Gujranwala, in modern-day Pakistan….reports Asian Lite News
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday referenced his Punjabi Indian heritage in a message from 10 Downing Street on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
The 43-year-old leader was born in the UK to a Hindu Punjabi family who had migrated from East Africa, with his grandparents’ roots tracing back to Ludhiana and pre-Partition Gujranwala, in modern-day Pakistan. In his greetings, he also hailed the immense contribution made by British Sikhs to the UK as a “source of pride and inspiration”.
“It gives me great pleasure to wish Sikhs across the UK, in India and across the world, a Happy Gurpurab,” said Sunak.
“Today we celebrate the 554th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion. As somebody of Punjabi Indian heritage, this day is especially dear to me,” he said.
“This joyous occasion is an opportunity to once again recognise the immense contribution of the Sikh community to our country. You are a source of pride and inspiration to us all. Waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,” he added.
Southampton-born Sunak, Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian heritage, has often spoken of his familial roots in the Indian subcontinent. His father, general practitioner Yashvir, was born in Kenya and his pharmacist mother was born in Tanzania before their families migrated to the UK.
“Sixty years after my Naniji boarded a plane in East Africa, on a warm sunny evening in October, her great-granddaughters, my kids, played in the street outside our home, painted rangoli on the doorstep, lit sparklers and diyas; had fun like so many other families on Diwali. Except the street was Downing Street, and the door was the door to No. 11,” said Sunak, with reference to being the UK’s first Indian-origin Chancellor at No. 11 Downing Street back in 2020.
More recently, Sunak and his Indian wife, Akshata Murty, hosted a special Diwali reception last month and Downing Street was again lit up and decorated for the festival of lights – at No. 10, the prime ministerial residence-office.