It’s not just Indian politicians who worship the cow and consider it auspicious. It’s a global phenomenon now. Britain’s prime ministerial candidate Rishi Sunak on August 23 performed ‘gau pooja’ in London. Akshata Murty, daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, and wife of the 42-year-old Conservative leader accompanied him.
Earlier on the occasion of Janmashthami, Sunak visited the Bhaktivedanta Manor on the outskirts of London to seek Lord Krishna’s blessings. On the Manor’s official Instagram page, Sunak—born in the UK to Indian parents—was quoted as saying that the Bhagavad Gita has given him the strength to continue through challenging times.
Sunak’s father was a doctor and his mother ran a chemist shop. He traces his roots to Punjab.
The Indian-origin MP of Richmond (Yorks), earlier gained the affection of Indians across the country when he celebrated Diwali during his tenure as chancellor to the exchequer under outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A practising Hindu, he became the first UK minister to light ‘diyas’ on his doorstep on Diwali.
Aiming to be the next UK Prime Minister, Sunak has earned the support of Hindu communities and associations based out of India. His electoral campaign received a boost when the Conservative Hindu group Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) in the US endorsed him.
However, in recent surveys of the party membership, Sunak’s rival, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is holding a firm lead. But Sunak is confident of victory and believes his “ideas are the right ones” for the country.
The election is set to close on the evening of September 2. The new Tory leader and British Prime Minister to succeed Boris Johnson will be confirmed on September 5.