Sunak gives very personal speech at London temple


Rishi Sunak addressed worshippers and talked about the concept of Dharma as a guiding principle in his approach to public service, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opened up about his Hindu faith, calling it a source of “inspiration and comfort” during a visit to a London temple on Saturday, accompanied by his wife, Akshata Murty.

On a stopover at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir with days to go to the high-stakes UK elections, Sunak addressed worshippers and talked about the concept of Dharma as a guiding principle in his approach to public service.

“Now, I am a Hindu. And like all of you, I draw inspiration and comfort from my faith. I was proud to be sworn in as a member of parliament on the Bhagavad Gita,” Sunak said.

A self-proclaimed “proud Hindu”, he further said, “Our faith teaches us to do our duty and not fret about the outcome as long as one does it faithfully. That is what I was brought up to believe by my wonderful and loving parents, and that is how I try and live my life. And that is what I want to pass on to my daughters as they grow up. It is Dharma which guides me in my approach to public service.”

The UK Prime Minister also engaged in lighthearted moments with the gathering, especially after a priest remarked upon how he had “raised the bar” for children in the Hindu community as it was “no longer enough to become just a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant”.

“If my parents were here and you asked them, they would probably tell you that they would have preferred it if I had become a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant,” Sunak quipped, drawing laughter from the congregation.

He also joked with gathered worshippers about cricket results after India won the T20 Cricket World Cup, defeating South Africa. “Everyone happy about the cricket?” he asked, and the crowd responded with cheers and applause.

The visit to the Neasden temple came a day after Sunak expressed his “hurt and anger” over a racial slur made by a supporter of Nigel Farage’s right-wing Reform UK party as campaigning for the general election hots up in the final stretch.

Britain will vote next week in a snap election expected to end 14 years of Conservative rule. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative party is trailing by 20 points to Keir Starmer’s Labour party. Predictions suggest a historic defeat for the Conservatives and a record win for Labour. One survey says Sunak could lose his own seat.

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