Boris Johnson visits Hindu temple in bid to pander to British-Indian community

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Bharat SharmaUpdated: Dec 09, 2019, 10:58 PM IST

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

At the temple, Johnson performed a puja and hailed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his promise of ''New India''

English as a language has been part of many debates in the post-colonial era.

Even though English is often derided as a colonial legacy, it continues to be the language of choice for many Indians.

Many British political leaders from across the pond are pandering to the Indian diaspora during campaigns. For instance, the British election campaigns boasts of songs in Hindi, by echoing the word ''Boris ko jitaana hai'' (We must make Boris win).

This has increasingly become a pattern whereby the Indian diaspora is reshaping political fortunes and emerging as the most sought after group.

The ''Conservative Friends of India'' in London released a Conservative Indian Campaign video to promote British PM Boris Johnson. 

The video was released after Boris Johnson and his girlfriend's visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, popularly known as Neasden Temple, where he made a keynote address to the British Indian community, just days ahead of the United Kingdom general election.

The duo was flanked by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, a prominent British Indian politician.

At the temple, Johnson performed a puja and hailed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his promise of ''New India''.

Johnson asserted that there was no place for anti-Indian sentiment in the United Kingdom.

If Johnson's strategy involves a temple run, his rival Jeremy Corbyn used Diwali celebrations.

Appeasing the Indian diaspora, the largest in the world, and appealing to Indian sentiments is now a global pattern.

The highest recipient of remittances, the Indian diaspora has political heft in several countries.

Even in the recent Canada elections, all the parties targetted the Indian diaspora.

In the United States, the competition for the 'Indian' advantage is a visible feature.

The Indian government too has actively engaged to leverage the diaspora.

On the one hand, countries are now realising the importance of Indians as political fortunes of parties are swayed by this influential vote bank.

It also gives a hedge to the Indian government, for the role of India in global politics and economics will rise further in this century.